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Being a Health Care Advocate: Medical Visits

One of the many ways to be a health care advocate is to be prepared to ask questions during doctor visits.  It is not uncommon to forget what you want to ask when the doctor is physically present, so write down your questions as you think of them and bring them with you to the visit.  Questions will vary depending on the type of specialist you are seeing and the stage of the patient’s journey. Here you can find a list of questions categorized by types of visits that may be helpful as you think about what you need to know.

Doctor Visit Tips

  • Document the patient's current health status
  • Develop a list of goals to achieve
  • Plan steps to reach those goals (treatments and other exercises)
  • Agree on how to measure progress toward those goals
  • Find out how to contact the doctor outside of regular business hours, and what situations call for contacting him/her
  • Ask how to spell words you are not familiar with
  • Get a copy of doctors' notes and all lab results and films (helpful for second opinions)