American Society of Hematology

Talking with Your Doctor

Do you have an open and honest dialogue with your doctor about your health? Your answer to this question could affect the quality of care you receive. An open discussion with your doctor is critical to ensure you are getting the care you need.

Below are some tips to keep in mind for your next visit to the doctor. Remember, your doctor wants to provide you with the best care possible and needs all of your health information to provide you with the best diagnosis and treatment options.

Be Prepared

If you believe you are at risk for a blood condition, be sure you are prepared to talk to your doctor about it. A doctor's office is usually busy, so make the most of your visit by preparing in advance.

Before Your Visit

  • Prepare questions to discuss.
  • Make a list of your symptoms and health concerns.
  • Make a list of medications you are currently taking.

During Your Visit

  • Bring someone with you for moral support such as a friend or family member.
  • Arrive in plenty of time to fill out any medical and insurance forms. Answer all health- and family history-related questions honestly.
  • Do not withhold any information from your doctor. Even if you think it might not be important, make sure you mention it because it might be something your doctor needs to know in order to prescribe the best treatment.
  • When speaking with your doctor, make sure you understand the diagnosis and the next steps you should take.
  • If there is a word or phrase you do not understand, ask your doctor to explain it in a way that will make sense to you.
  • Do not be afraid or embarrassed to ask about symptoms or concerns; remember, your doctor has dealt with similar questions before.
  • Prior to leaving the doctor's office, make sure you know what the follow-up plan or arrangements are.

After Your Visit

  • Call your doctor's office with any additional questions you did not get to ask or that may have occurred to you after the visit.
back to top