The office of a doctor.
It’s fair to say that not many people enjoy going to their doctors. I get anxiety making that dreaded phone call to schedule one. It’s my least favorite place to go.
However, I usually have something important and urgent to ask my doctor. Unfortunately, it always slips my mind and I leave, forgetting. So, in hopes of sparing you the sting of disappointment I feel (for all other stings, see your healthcare provider!), here are 9 questions your doctor wishes you would ask:
1. Why is sex painful?
The exam room is not a sexy place. Paper gowns and anatomy models from the 1980s do not lend themselves to alleviating our anxiety when it comes to asking our doctors about sex. Nevertheless, nearly half of all women will eventually experience painful intercourse, but less than ten percent receive help. Doctors are medical professionals and aren’t there to judge. Note that if you are not comfortable discussing sex with your doctor, it may be time to find a new one.
2. How much will this cost?
Modern medicine is miraculous but can be exorbitantly expensive. Unfortunately, our doctors are rarely in tune with the financial toll a treatment may take. Moreover, they don’t want to waste time prescribing something that you can’t afford to take. It’s imperative we are upfront with our medical professionals about our financial situation. For many conditions, there are less expensive choices that are just as effective.
3. Do I need this antibiotic?
Too often, we run to the doctor as soon as we sneeze. Then, the doctor writes a prescription for an antibiotic and we are off to the pharmacy. This is a careless and possibly dangerous occurrence, as antibiotic-resistant infections are on the rise. Hence, we must be cautious with antibiotics and only take them when necessary. This, in turn, allows for combating the increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Plus, if it’s viral, it won’t help anyway.
4. What can I do on my own to help with my condition?
From proper diet, getting your beauty sleep and reducing stress, there is a myriad of things a patient can do to help with their health or even prevent some issues from occurring. Be proactive with your health and ask your doctor for strategies that will work for you.
5. Are my supplements safe?
Mother Nature is beautiful and anything natural is safe, right? Think again. It’s critical to discuss our supplements with doctors so they can evaluate their safety and effectiveness. Moreover, some supplements and even some herbal teas can interfere with your prescription medications.
6. Should I get a 2nd opinion?
Depending on your doctor’s specialty, their diagnosis may vary from his fellow physician. For example, you might visit your general practitioner for a headache, only to be referred to a neurologist. It’s okay and oftentimes encouraged to ask your doctor if a 2nd opinion might help. Especially if it’s a surgery or a new medication. It’s your right to receive the best care possible.
7. Is it normal to feel like this?
Many individuals live their lives experiencing pain, exhaustion, and depression. They’ve felt that way for so long that it became their normal. However, when your quality of life is suffering due to some ailment, it’s time to ask your doctor if it’s normal. And if it’s not, you will receive the help you need.
8. Are you sure that’s right? I Googled my symptoms.
While not definitively a question to ask your doctor, this needed to be included. Oftentimes, the minute we get a strange symptom, we ask uncle Google for help and then self-diagnose. We only go to the doctor for confirmation. Too often our imagination starts running wild and we end up Googling “strange rashes” at 3:00 in the morning. Hence, we should all live by this motto: consult your MD before WebMD.
9. Are you an LGBTQIA Ally?
Pride Month closed out in June, but the fight for rights is ongoing. After coming out as a lesbian, it was necessary for me to find a doctor who was experienced in treating gay women. Since my health questions and concerns often vary from a straight woman’s, I have to ensure my doctor is an ally to the community to get the best care.
Once we conquer our whitecoat hypertension, we can ask questions. Doctors are, after all, there to help us live our best lives. Take a deep breath and talk to your medical professional. It could save your life.
What other questions do you think doctors want us to ask? Share them in the comments!