What to ask your GP?

So now you are at the doctor, what are you there for? What are some good questions to ask or topics to discuss? Here are some ideas about what to ask.

What prompted the appointment?

Have you recently had some tests and you need the results?

Will the tests results affect the medication I already take or will they need changing?

What do the results mean for me now and in the future?

Have you been feeling unwell?

Be clear about what you are feeling. Have you been unable to sleep, eat, walk properly, see? Do you have a persistent cough? Is there any sputum? Does it affect your breathing? Do your joints ache? Does anything keep you awake at night?

Have you been feeling unsteady?

What do you mean by feeling unsteady on your feet? Have you had a fall or a near fall? So ask your doctor what you can do about this worrying feeling. Can I have physio for this? Would some of my pills be contributing to this? What about going to the Falls and Balance Clinic at the local geriatric service?

Have you been feeling sad or unhappy?

How long has this been going on? Can you identify any reason? Have you recently taken on more responsibilities or have you been told not to do certain things you like to do?

Have you gone for vaccinations or other health checks?

Why do you need these? Will they make me feel better or unwell?

Do you need new prescriptions?

Do you need all the medications that I take? What will happen if you stop some?

These questions will give you an idea of how use your doctor to your advantage and get the best out of the appointment. There are countless reasons for going to the doctor and most of them are valid. Think of yourself as a partner in your health care and the questions to ask the doctor will come quickly. You might be interested in what the latest treatments and research mean for your diagnoses and how they will impact your life. So ask the doctor.

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