Questions YOU Should Ask Your Doctor | Doctor Mike

– As doctors, we ask a lot of questions. Do you drink, smoke, drugs? Where does it hurt? When did the pain start? Where does the pain radiate? Is it burning, itching, shooting? Tell me. – Do you want my head to explode? – But we want you to ask us questions too. It can’t just be one-sided. So here we go, these are the questions you
should be asking your doctor. (relaxing music) Am I contagious? Yeah, sometimes it’s a
very obvious question, but sometimes it’s not so clear. For example, with the
flu you can be contagious one day prior to having symptoms and you can stay contagious
for up to seven days. That’s why it’s really
important to ask the doctor so we can give you guidance
on how to prevent you from spreading this to your loved ones. Sneezing into your elbow,
washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, these simple actions can save lives. (relaxing music) What websites can I trust? The internet is literally a
misinformation super highway, with celebrities, and i.k.a experts giving you complete garbage advice. Take for instance,’s recommendation to put jade egg into your
vagina for improved fertility. As a doctor, I want my patients to be
educated and proactive. We can’t cover everything
in a 15 or 30 minute visit. There are quality websites
that your doctor does trust, so please ask the question. (relaxing music) Why should I take this medication? – These are dog pills. – We had the same symptoms. – Sometimes a doctor will
prescribe a medication and you don’t have an exact answer as to why you’re taking it. But it’s really important
to hammer down specifically why should you be on it. Is this a treatment? Is this a cure? Is this gonna just control my symptoms? Are there any alternatives,
natural or otherwise that can help you solve this problem? When you get a complete picture, you can make the most
educated decision possible, and a major aspect to
medications is side effects. See, I’m pointing to the side. (relaxing music) What are the side effects? Any treatment that a
doctor can prescribe you can carry some sort of side effect. Whether you’re okay
with those side effects is a very important conversation to have. In some cases, you may only
want control of your symptoms. In other cases, you may
want total eradication of the disease, at which point, you may be okay with worse side effects. That’s why it’s always a balancing game between risks and benefits
on an individual level. BS alert, sometimes you’re
gonna find stuff online that overstates the side
effects of certain treatments. Take for instance, the supposed link between autism
and childhood vaccination. Complete garbage, forget about it. – Forget about it. (relaxing music) – We’re in an era of over-testing. Tests are not always benign
and some do carry side effects, and some can be incredibly costly. That’s why you need not be afraid to ask your doctor this question. When we order a test, it should be to confirm
a suspected diagnosis we already have in mind. It shouldn’t be just to
order a bunch of tests and hope something sticks. Knowing the purpose of getting a test will allow you to better evaluate
the risks versus benefits and to get the most cost effective care. Over-testing can lead to over-diagnosis and over-diagnosis can be a real problem. Just to clarify, over-diagnosis
is not a wrong diagnosis, it’s just finding an issue
that may have never caused a problem but now you’re
forced to address it because you found it on a scan. (relaxing music) When should I follow up? It’s really easy to
leave the doctor’s office and forget to ask this critical question. Normally your visits are
on six month intervals, but if you start a new
treatment or medication, you may need to return sooner than that. Also, asking this question
can prompt your doctor to remind you to be on the
look out for certain symptoms and side effects that can cause you to need to return earlier. (relaxing music) A common question I get
from my patients is, “Doctor, what do you think I should do?” And while we can give recommendations, ethically we can’t tell you what to do. A better question would be, “Doctor, what would you
recommend to your family?” Because this gives you tremendous insight into how the doctor thinks
when thinking about a loved one and it nurtures that
doctor-patient relationship. But please remember, what’s best for the doctor
and their family members, may not be what’s best for you. So feel free to explore
the question in detail. (relaxing music) What should I focus on? Wait, wait, am I in focus? There you go. Yes, you should follow
your basic treatment plan, but there’s usually additional guidance that you can get from your
doctor by asking this question. Should you keep a log of your symptoms? Should you take a picture of
the rash if it were to reoccur? All of these are great points
for you to keep in mind to help your doctor come
to a diagnosis sooner. Plus, lifestyle modifications are an incredibly important part
of your health in general, not just focusing on your current problem. (relaxing music) Can I have a chaperone? Don’t be afraid to ask this question. The goal of the medical exam is to make you feel 100%
comfortable with what’s going on. The likelihood that something
inappropriate will occur with a second medical
professional in the room is much lower so it can put you at ease. And in light of the circumstances with the U.S. gymnastics team, this is even a more important
time to ask this question. (relaxing music) Have you treated this before? – What did you say? – Well maybe you don’t have to be so confrontational about it. Ask how much experience do
you have treating patients with this condition. Sometimes you may have
a very obscure condition that a lot of doctors haven’t seen and this line of questioning will create a bond and trust between
you and the doctor, because one of two things may happen. The doctor may say, “Yes, I have plenty of
experience with this,” and you’ll feel more at ease. Or two, the doctor may honestly say that they don’t have a lot of experience, but they can get the information
elsewhere or refer you out. That way, you can have
that honest feedback and know what you’re really getting. Just to remind you, this question applies more
to procedures and surgeries where hands-on experience
is of upmost importance. So there you have it. Those are some great
questions to ask your doctor to get the most out of your visit. Now I’ve listed all of them down below in the description box. And speaking of questions, I love it when you ask me questions so leave them down below
in the comment section and I’ll answer as often as I can. Thank you for watching and as always, stay happy and healthy. What’s your family history? Do you have any allergies? What’s your social history? What’s your problem? (laughs) So there you have it, those are
the most important questions to ask your doctor to
get the most out of your, I say most twice. Fun fact, if you take
Coumadin, a blood thinner, and eat green, leafy
vegetables at the same time, you can reduce the
effectiveness of the drug and that can lead to a blood clot. That’s not really a fun fact. And speaking of questions, I love it when you ask me questions so leave your questions down below in the, I say questions like 300 times. Side effects, are these in frame? – [Man] A little higher. Yeah, there you go. (relaxing music)
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