Peter Yellowlees MD Your Health in the Information Age
How you and your doctor can use the Internet to work together
Top Questions to ask

What are the best questions to ask your doctor to make sure you get the best treatment? How can you make sure you remember what you want to find out, especially when so many consultations are relatively brief, and can be stressful.

Here are my suggestions:

1. Do as much research as possible before you see your doctor - lets face it you don't go and see your accountant to do your taxes without collecting information beforehand, and thinking about the issues you want to discuss. Do the same with your doctor.

2. Write down your questions - and if necessary take a list with you, including a second copy for your doctor to have to keep.

3. Prioritize your questions - ask the most important ones first - don't waste time asking about the payment process when you are really worried about whether you have cancer.

4. Take someone with you if you have questions that are really concerning - two sets of ears are better than one.

5 Write down the answers - even if just a rapid note - we know that only 20% of the information given during a medical consultation is remembered one week later - but if it's written down, this percentage is much higher

There are many websites that have specific questions for specific disorders - and my book will teach you how to judge those. Also make sure that you check out your doctor - see the 10 questions you should ask about your doctors background, expertise and competency, and find out how to check all of this out in my book.

If you want to find good lists of disorder specific questions go to the US Government Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality at where you will find an excellent series of well thought through questions for your doctor on many different topics.