Talking with Your Doctor

Frequently Asked Questions

18. What questions should I ask my doctor once I am given a diagnosis?

A diagnosis identifies your disease or physical problem.

The doctor makes a diagnosis based on the symptoms you are experiencing and the results of the physical exam, laboratory work, and other tests.

Understanding your diagnosis, or health problem, can help you make decisions about what you would like to do about it. Also, if you know how the health problem may affect your life and activities and what may happen if the condition gets worse, you may be better prepared to deal with the problem.

Here are some questions you may want to ask your doctor about your health problem.

  • What is the name of the condition? How do you spell it?
  • Why do you think I have this health problem? What may have caused it?
  • How long might this problem last? Will it be permanent?
  • How will this problem affect me? Will I need to change some of my activities?
  • Are there long-term effects of this problem?
  • Can my health problem be cured? How can it be treated or managed, made better?
  • How can I learn more about my condition?