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Questions to ask your doctor

It can be hard to remember all of the questions you want to ask your doctor or nurse during your appointments. Below is a general list that you may find useful as a guide.

At Diagnosis

  • What is the name of my condition?
  • Do I need further tests? What would they involve?
  • What treatment is recommended?
  • How long will my overall treatment take?
  • Who do I call if I become unwell and is there a process I should follow?
  • Where will I have this treatment – as an inpatient, outpatient, at home?
  • What side effects may I experience?
  • Will I need to take time off work/school or organise childcare?
  • Are there any other treatment options?
  • How do they differ from my recommended treatment?
  • Would I have to pay for these or move to another treatment centre?
  • Am I eligible for clinical trials here or at another nearby treating centre?
  • Will I lose my hair?
  • How will it affect my physical ability?
  • Will my fertility be affected?
  • What allied health professionals are available to help manage my care and how do I access these? (e.g. physio, dietitian, social worker, chaplain, counsellor)
  • Do you have any dietary recommendations?
  • Can I use complementary therapies?
  • If I can’t work, am I eligible for financial assistance?
  • Are there any other community support organisations that I may benefit from?

At Routine Appointments

  • Are there any changes to my treatment schedule?
  • Where will this treatment take place?
  • How long will this treatment take?
  • What are the side effects?
  • When am I due for my next investigation? (e.g. CT scan)
  • Do I need a prescription?
  • When is my next appointment?

Remember to tell your doctor or nurse about any symptoms or side effects you are experiencing.

Things to consider

  • Do I (or my carer) need a sick form?
  • Do I need any Centrelink forms completed?
  • Am I entitled to a hospital carpark discount?
  • Am I entitled to any government rebates for transport or accommodation (patient travel assistance)?
  • Do I need a patient travel assistance form to be completed?
  • Do I need forms completed for insurance purposes?