Talking with Your Doctor

Frequently Asked Questions

17. What questions should I ask before having a medical test?

Before you have a medical test, ask your doctor these questions.

  • Why do I need the test? What will it show about my health?
  • What will it cost and will my insurance cover it?
  • What do I need to do to prepare for the test? (For example, you may need to have an empty stomach, or you may have to provide a urine sample.)
  • What steps does the medical test involve?
  • Are there any dangers or side effects?
  • How will I find out the results of my test? How long will it take to get the results?
  • What will we know after the test?

When the results are ready, make sure the doctor tells you what they are and explains what they mean. You may want to ask your doctor for a written copy of the test results. If the test is done by a specialist, ask to have the results sent to your primary doctor.