Experts tell us to always ask questions when we see the doctor. So, here’s a list of the most important questions to ask, because our health depends on it!
“Do I really need this test?” According to the book Medical Tests That Can Save Your Life, a lot of doctors today are ordering extra screenings and tests, because they’d rather be “safe than sorry.” But many of the extra tests are unnecessary and some may be dangerous! In fact, a new study shows that the extra radiation we get from overused X-rays and CT scans, for example, contribute to more than 5,000 new cancer cases a year! So, always ask if a test is necessary, or if there’s an alternative test that may be just as effective – but less dangerous.
“If I get sick, will you see me in the hospital?” It turns out, a growing number of hospitals now hire special physicians, known as “hospitalists,” whose job is to handle your day-to-day care while you’re sick. The problem is that hospitalists don’t know as much about your medical history as your primary care doctor. So, make sure your doctor is willing to make hospital calls if needed.
“Do you earn bonuses based on performance?” Dr. Evan Levine wrote the book What Your Doctor Won’t – Or Can’t – Tell You. And he says a lot of doctors earn bonuses based on the number of patients they treat each day. But that can give doctors an incentive to get you in-and-out the door as fast as possible! So, stay away from doctors who say answer “yes” to the bonus question.
“Can I schedule my surgery for the morning?” Always ask this questions when you schedule a surgery. Because according to a recent Duke study, patients who had operations in the morning – when the surgical staff was fresh – were four times less likely to have complications than those who had them in the afternoon.