I have seen many questions in Yahoo answers and in other platforms, asking about the questions that patients should ask, when they go and consult a doctor. So, here are a few tips on how to deal with a doctor and what are the apt questions to ask.
1. What are the symptoms : Before you go, it is good to do a little research on the possible disease that you or your kin might be suffering from. But do not name the disease in front of the doctor. You may be wrong and may mislead the doctor. Just tell all the symptoms that the patient is suffering from.
2. Duration of symptoms – How long the patient is suffering from the complaints, whether he has had similar complaints in the past, or it is first time, etc.
3. Answer the questions precisely – There is a great saying that truth should not be hidden from lawyers and doctors. So, if you hide your symptoms, the doctor may miss an important point about the disease. Do not hide if you are taking any supplements.
4. Be elaborate – Telling more than necessary is much better than telling only a few things.
5. About the laboratory investigations : It is not a good habit to ask for any lab investigations directly. If needed, your doctor will advice the necessary lab investigations. This is actually a matter of a big debate. There are (true) allegations that some doctors write lab investigations unnecessarily. It is also equally true that doctors often write lab investigations just because some patients may not feel comfortable, if the prescription is given without any lab investigations. Please note, if you are confident about your doctor, and if he does not write any lab investigations, still, you can bet on him.
6. Treatment – Ask about any possible side effects of the medicines, how long it is to be taken etc. If you are taking Ayurvedic medicines, whether it has to be taken before food or after food also matters.
7. Medicine during pregnancy – It is always better to tell priorly that the patient is pregnant, in case the doctor needs some reminding. A majority of the medicines are not safe during pregnancy.
8. Double checking on the internet or with another doctor – I would say that it is not a bad habit to double-check a doctor’s prescription with another doctor, if you are not convinced with the first one. But relying on the data available on internet is not always a good idea.
9. Criticising other systems of medicine: If a doctor criticises other systems of medicine, then it implies that he does not have knowledge of that medical system. Nothing more than that. Please remember, all the systems of medicine – Ayurveda, Allopathy, Homeopathy, Chinese medicine, physiotherapy, Acupuncture etc. offer very good treatments for some set of diseases and do not have a good treatment for others.
10. Last hint – Doctor of any speciality or any medical system is also a human being and is prone to commit mistakes. Commercialisation, desire to earn more, more studying expense, lobbying, conspiracies, negligence… a doctor is not an exception for being swept over by these matters… So, be careful.