Questions to Ask Your Doctor at Your Next Check-up

Asking questions is key to good communication with your doctor and can help you better understand what he or she recommends. During a check-up, ask questions if you don’t know the meaning of a word or to clarify your doctor’s instructions. You may also want to ask questions about any recommended procedures, medications, or diagnoses. For example, if your doctor asks to do a blood test, x-ray, or other procedure, consider asking these questions to help you make an informed decision:

  • Why is the test being done?
  • What steps does the test involve?
  • How should I get ready?
  • Are there any dangers or side effects?
  • How will I find out the results?
  • How long will it take to get the results?
  • What will we know after the test?

Find more questions to ask your doctor during a check-up on NIA’s website. The booklet Talking With Your Doctor: A Guide for Older People is also available to download, print, or order.

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