Q: Sometimes I get confused by what my physician is telling me when I see him. Is it OK to ask my doctor questions?
A: Many patients feel nervous about asking their doctor questions. However, most doctors wish patients would be more proactive about their health. Doctors know a lot about health but not always a lot about what makes your situation unique. When patients ask questions, it helps a doctor to make a better decision regarding their care. Additionally, when a patient asks questions, it helps their doctor determine what the biggest priorities are for the patient, which may be different than the doctor's.
With the modern changes to medicine, the doctor/patient relationship can feel rushed. Most patients will have looked up information related to their illness on the internet. It is OK to bring a list of questions to the appointment so that you don't forget to ask all your questions. Realize, however, that sometimes more than one appointment may be necessary to address all of a patient's concerns or questions.
In the end, the doctor/patient relationship is just that — a relationship. Like all relationships, it is a two-way street that requires participation from both the doctor and the patient to flourish.
— Dr. Todd Thurston,
The Plastic Surgery Group; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society