Questions to ask your doctor
If your doctor suggests that you see a specialist, some questions you could ask include:
- Why do you think I need to see a specialist?
- Why are you choosing this particular specialist?
- How much experience do they have in treating my type of health problem?
- Do they work at both public and private hospitals?
- How do I make an appointment with the specialist?
- If I need to be admitted to hospital, how long will I have to wait?
- If the specialist has a lengthy waiting time for admission, is there another specialist you can recommend who can admit me to hospital sooner?
- How do I find out how much it will cost to see the specialist?
Questions to ask your specialist
When you see a specialist, you may be anxious about the health problems you are experiencing and may easily forget to ask some important questions.
It is likely that most of these questions will be answered at the time of your consultation but it’s a good idea to use the following questions as a guide or checklist. Note that some questions are suitable only for surgeons.
- What may happen to me if I do not have the procedure you suggest?
- Can you describe exactly what you intend to do?
- How necessary is this procedure?
- How urgent is this procedure?
- How long will I have to wait for my procedure?
- How long do you expect the procedure to take?
- What type of anaesthetic (general or local) will I need to have?
- What are the risks associated with the procedure?
- What are the risks associated with the anaesthetic?
- Will I need a blood transfusion?
- Will you or someone else be performing the actual procedure?
- At which hospital will the procedure be done? Do you do many of these procedures?
- Will I need any tests before the procedure? What are they?
- Is there anything I should or should not do before the procedure?
- How long will I be in hospital?
- What happens after the procedure? How can I expect to feel after the procedure?
- What sort of follow-up care will I need after I leave hospital?
- How long will I be away from work or unable to perform the routine tasks that I now do?
- How much will it cost me? (procedure, tests, follow-up visits, total)
- Are there any alternatives to the procedure for me?
- What should I do if my condition gets worse while I am waiting for the procedure?