Questions to Ask Your Healthcare Team | Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation

Questions to Ask Your Healthcare Team

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You may have many questions about your disease and treatment. Many patients who are learning advocacy skills find it helpful to take this list with them to their appointments.

Print out this list and take it with you the next time you go to the doctor.


About the disease

  • What subtype of my disease do I have?
  • How severe is my disease?
  • What is my prognosis?
  • What have other people with a similar disease and treatment gone through?

About treatment

  • What are all my treatment options?
  • What treatment option do you recommend for me? Why?
  • Will I be getting more than one treatment?
  • How does this treatment work?
  • How likely am I to get better with the treatment?
  • How often is this treatment given?
  • Has this treatment been used a lot or is it a new or experimental treatment?
  • Does the treatment hurt?
  • When can I expect the treatment to start working? When/how will I know if it is working?
  • What are some of the possible side effects I should be aware of? Are there long-term side effects?
  • What happens if the treatment doesn't work?
  • Where will I be getting the treatment (at your office, at a clinic, in the hospital)?
  • Will I get better?
  • Do you have tips for staying on the treatment plan? (Some people report they feel worse on treatment in the beginning, and then feel better after a few weeks or months. This can be discouraging, yet it is a common side effect of some of the medicines.)
  • How long do I need to take the medicine? What happens if I go off this medicine before the treatment cycle is over?
  • Will this treatment be covered by my insurance plan? If not, what is the cost if I choose to pay out of pocket? Are there other treatments can I consider?
  • Can my disease return, even after successful treatment?

About prescription drug treatment

  • Has the drug been approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) for treating my disease?
  • How do I take the medicine? How often do I need to take it?
  • How long will I need to take the medicine?
  • How does this treatment work?
  • What are the common side effects of this medicine? What are the most severe side effects? What can be done to control them?
  • What are the long-term side effects of this medicine?
  • How much does it cost? Is it covered by my insurance?
  • Can this prescription drug cause interactions or side effects with any over-the-counter medications or supplements that I take?

For more questions to ask healthcare providers, visit the Questions Are the Answer Web site developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. At this site you can create a customized list of questions to take with you to your next doctor's visit.