10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Kay Van Wey shares expert's suggestions on how to find a good physician.

Medical experts suggest 10 questions to ask when deciding which doctor to choose.

When we hear how carefully we should research our health care providers we choose, it’s not a surprise. It’s well known that medical and hospital mistakes are out of control in the United States.

We all want to have the best doctors caring for ourselves and our families, so we ask for recommendations from friends and do a little research on our own most of the time.

The Cincinnati Enquirer asked several experts, that included a medical malpractice lawyer, a representative of the state medical board and two bioethicists, to offer some questions to patients that they should ask their physicians.

But, while consumers are told to be our own watchdogs when it comes to medical care, accurate answers are not always so easily accessible.
You can use the following 10 questions these experts suggested to help you in your search for your next physician:

  1. How many times have you done this procedure?
    Is your board certification up to date?
  2. What are the potential complications? How often have you encountered them?
  3. What tests might I need? What are the tests for? What will the results tell me? How safe are the tests?
  4. Why do I need this treatment, and are there any alternatives?
  5. What are the potential side effects of any prescribed medications?
  6. Could this medication interact with other medications I take (either prescribed or over-the-counter)?
  7. Has any state medical board taken any formal action against you anywhere in the country?
  8. If facing surgery: What are your success, failure and complication rates? How do those compare with your peers?
  9. What’s the hospital’s infection rate?
  10. Do you honor your patients’ advanced directives? How involved do you expect the patients’ family members to be if outside input becomes necessary?

Hopefully, these questions will guide you in your sometimes complex and overwhelming search to find the perfect doctor for you and your family. After all, who we choose to take care of our health is a critical decision, and one that can’t afford to get wrong.

A special thank you to Enquirer research of Cincinnati for the work you’ve done to ensure consumers stay safe.

Source: Enquirer research