Many doctors are great communicators but it is handy to know the best questions to ask your GP when you are with them.

Time is at a premium – sometimes you only have 15 minutes with them.

So use that time wisely and make sure you leave with all the information you need.

It might be about your diagnosis, treatment options, preventative care or just how to improve and maintain your health and wellbeing.

If you think you need to, write your questions down!

It is much better to visit your GP fully prepared than to leave with some of your key concerns left unaddressed.

Here is a checklist of the best questions to ask your GP.

“Can you explain my test results?”

Diagnostic tests and laboratory results often come with terminology not easily understood by many people.

Ask your doctor if they can fully explain your results.

It is one of the best questions you can ask.

Have them write down any relevant data so you can further investigate and better comprehend the results.

Ask to see any imaging studies that will help you understand your health status.

“What is my diagnosis?”

It is a pretty basic question but it is important to ensure you do not simply know what your diagnosis is called but you understand it.

Seek clarification about your condition and symptoms and how they are likely to affect you going forward.

“What are the possible causes of my symptoms?”

Sometimes, a diagnosis is not immediately forthcoming and you are left with a degree of uncertainty.

Talk with your GP about the underlying causes or potential factors leading to your symptoms.

“What are my treatment options?”

Ask about the available options for your treatment.

These could include medications, a procedure, therapies or lifestyle changes.

There is nearly always more than one treatment option available.

Ask too about the likely result if you simply do nothing.

“What are the potential side-effects or risks of treatment?”

Ask about the possible side-effects, risks and benefits of your proposed treatment plan.

The reality is, many treatments come with side-effects, which may vary greatly in intensity.

Medicinal treatment is often about evaluating the risks versus the benefits.

“How effective is the treatment?”

Enquiring about the effectiveness of a treatment is another one of the best questions you can ask your GP.

Are there any statistics they can provide or can they offer some guidance as to how effective your proposed treatment will be?

Not all treatments are fail safe.

Also ask about any potential factors which may influence or compromise its success.

Anything you can do to boost your chances of responding to a treatment plan is worthwhile.

“Are there alternative treatments or complementary therapies?”

There are nearly always alternatives.

Ask about the wisdom of employing alternative therapies and whether there are any complementary therapies that are viable options.

These may be considered instead of or in tandem with traditional medicines.

Alternative and complementary therapies are growing rapidly in popularity.

“What lifestyle changes can improve my health?”

Many health problems are triggered by lifestyle.

Hence it makes good sense to consider whether changes to your lifestyle can improve your outlook.

These may be related to diet, exercise, sleep, stress management, alcohol intake and smoking.

“Do I need any other screenings?”

Seeing your doctor is a great time to consider the need for any other routine screenings.

These are usually associated with age, gender, your family history and associated risk factors.

“What warning signs or red flags should I be vigilant about?”

Ask about what signs or symptoms indicate a deterioration or advancement of your condition.

Some of these may demand immediate medical attention.

Enquire as to whether there are any medical devices you need to monitor your condition or personal alarms that will help you in the event you need assistance.

“How often should I follow up?”

Ask your GP about the recommended follow-up schedule – that is, when you next need to book an appointment.

Regular appointments to monitor your condition or recovery may be advised. 

“Are there any resources or support networks available?”

Doctors will often be aware of educational materials you can access to better your understanding of your diagnosis.

There may also be support networks or community services you can join to share stories and ideas about your condition.

“Is there anything else I should know or ask about?”

This is basically a final, general question to prompt your GP and make sure nothing has been overlooked.

It gives them the chance to review your chat and address any other concerns, questions or information that may be relevant to your health and wellbeing.

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Communication is absolutely critical when visiting your GP.

Open and honest dialogue between doctor and patient invariably produces the best results.

That is why you should never be backward in asking your GP anything that is on your mind related to your condition.

Always seek clarification, even if your question seems frivolous.

It is important you leave the appointment fully informed about your condition and the action you need to take to best manage it or optimise your chances of a full recovery.

At AHA Clinics, GPs listen closely to your concerns and offer comprehensive, personalised care to all our patients.

They will answer all of your questions in a kind, caring and empathetic manner and are highly-skilled in treating a wide variety of conditions.

They will also talk to you about alternative treatment options, complementary therapies and empowering you to make the most informed decisions about your health.

Book an appointment here today at either our Seaford Road Day and Night Clinic or our Seaford Meadows Day and Night Clinic.