After Your Appointment

Questions Are the Answer

You can make sure you get the best possible care by being an active member of your health care team. Being involved means being prepared and asking questions.

After you meet with your doctor, you will need to follow his or her instructions to keep your health on track.

Your doctor may have you fill a prescription or make an another appointment for tests, lab work, or a follow-up visit. It is important for you to follow your doctor’s instructions.

It also is important to call your doctor if you are unclear about any instructions or have more questions.

Prioritize your questions

Create a list of follow-up questions to ask if you:

  • Have a health problem
  • Need to get or change a medicine
  • Need a medical test
  • Need to have surgery

Other times to call your doctor

There are other times when you should follow up on your care and call your doctor. Call your doctor:

  • If you experience any side effects or other problems with your medicines.
  • If your symptoms get worse after seeing the doctor.
  • If you receive any new prescriptions or start taking any over-the-counter medicines.
  • To get results of any tests you’ve had. Do not assume that no news is good news.
  • To ask about test results you do not understand.

Your questions help your doctor and health care team learn more about you. Your doctor’s answers to your questions can help you make better decisions, receive a higher level of care, avoid medical harm, and feel better about your health care. Your questions can also lead to better results for your health.

Page last reviewed September 2012
Internet Citation: After Your Appointment: Questions Are the Answer. September 2012. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/patients-consumers/patient-involvement/ask-your-doctor/questions-after-appointment.html