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Questions To Ask Your Doctor | Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality

Questions To Ask Your Doctor | Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality

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AHRQ's "Questions Are the Answer" Offers Tools To Promote Patient Involvement

"Questions Are the Answer," AHRQ's ongoing public education initiative to involve patients and their families as part of their health care team, offers several consumer tools to improve communication between patients and clinicians to help make health care safer.
AHRQ's Web site features these valuable tools:
  • Videos of patients and clinicians discussing the importance of asking questions and sharing information.
  • A brochure, titled "Be More Involved in Your Health Care: Tips for Patients," that offers helpful suggestions to follow before, during and after a medical visit.
  • Notepads to help patients prioritize the top three questions they wish to ask during their medical appointment.
"Questions Are the Answer" is designed to promote safer care and better health outcomes. To request a free supply of these materials in English or Spanish, email AHRQpubs@ahrq.hhs.gov or call 1-800-358-9295.



A simple question can help you feel better, let you take better care of yourself, or save your life. The questions below can get you started.
  1. What is the test for?
  2. How many times have you done this procedure?
  3. When will I get the results?
  4. Why do I need this treatment?
  5. Are there any alternatives?
  6. What are the possible complications?
  7. Which hospital is best for my needs?
  8. How do you spell the name of that drug?
  9. Are there any side effects?
  10. Will this medicine interact with medicines that I'm already taking?
or try our
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AHRQ--Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Advancing Excellence in Health Care

Questions To Ask Your Doctor

Questions Are the Answer
Your health depends on good communication
Asking questions and providing information to your doctor and other care providers can improve your care. Talking with your doctor builds trust and leads to better results, quality, safety, and satisfaction.
Quality health care is a team effort. You play an important role. One of the best ways to communicate with your doctor and health care team is by asking questions. Because time is limited during medical appointments, you will feel less rushed if you prepare your questions before your appointment.

Your doctor wants your questions

Doctors know a lot about a lot of things, but they don't always know everything about you or what is best for you.
Your questions give your doctor and health care team important information about you, such as your most important health care concerns.
That is why they need you to speak up.

Link to patients and clinicians videosCheck out our videos

Patients and clinicians share why it's important to ask questions and offer ways that you can ask questions and get your health care needs met. In these short, compelling videos, patients talk about how simple questions can help you take better care of yourself, feel better, and get the right care at the right time. Doctors and nurses talk about how your questions help them take better care of you and offer advice on how you can be an active member of your health care team and get your most pressing questions answered.
Page last reviewed September 2012
Internet Citation: Questions To Ask Your Doctor. September 2012. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/patients-consumers/patient-involvement/ask-your-doctor/index.html

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