Ask Your Doctor These Questions Before You Get Any Test, Treatment or Procedure
1. Do I really need this test or procedure? Medical tests help you and your doctor or other health provider decide how to treat a problem. And medical procedures help to actually treat it.
2. What are the risks? Will there be side effects? What are the chances of getting results that aren't accurate? Could that lead to more testing or another procedure?
3. Are there simpler, safer options? Sometimes all you need to do is make lifestyle changes, such as eating healthier food or exercising more.
4. What happens if I don't do anything? Ask if your condition might get worse or better if you don't have the test or procedure right away.
5. How much does it cost? Ask if there are less-expensive tests, treatments or procedures, what your insurance may cover, and about generic drugs instead of brand-name drugs.
Use these five questions to talk to your doctor about which tests, treatments and procedures you need — and which you don't need.
Some medical tests, treatments and procedures provide little benefit. And in some cases, they may even cause harm.
Talk to your doctor to make sure you end up with the right amount of care — not too much and not too little.
Check out the patient resources on the Choosing Wisely website for additional information.