Questions to Ask

Get the Most From Your Visit

Before Your Visit

At Northwestern Medicine, you are at the center of your care team. We want to make sure you understand:

  • Your health conditions
  • Your treatment options
  • What you can do to be as healthy as possible

Before your visit, take some time to think ahead about what you want to know. Do you want to:

  • Talk about a health problem?
  • Get or change a medication?
  • Get medical tests?
  • Talk about surgery or treatment options?

Questions to Consider

Asking questions will help you make better decisions, get better care and feel better about your care. Your questions can also lead to better results for your health.
Your questions will depend on why you are seeing your care team and what actions they take. Questions could include:

  • What is my diagnosis?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • What are the benefits of each option?
  • What are the side effects?
  • Will I need a test?
  • What is the test for?
  • Are there risks associated with this test?
  • What will the results tell me?
  • What will this medication do?
  • How do I take it?
  • Are there any side effects?
  • Why do I need surgery?
  • Are there other ways to treat my condition?
  • How often do you do this surgery?
  • Do I need to change my daily routine?

Print these questions to bring to your appointment. Or, use the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Question Builder to create a personalized list of questions.

Adapted from Questions Are the Answer, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.