Barrier: My doctor is very busy and doesn't seem to have time to answer a lot of my questions.
Success Strategy: You have a right to be informed. Your doctor wants you to get better, so tell your doctor that you'd like to spend a few minutes discussing your questions at the beginning or end of your visit. Then start by asking those questions that are most important for you. Ask if there are nurse practitioners or other staff available for you to talk with, as well.
Barrier: I feel embarrassed asking questions.
Success Strategy: Part of your doctor's job is to provide you with information about your condition and how you can get better. Doctors are used to answering questions. The only "silly" question is the one that doesn't get asked.
Barrier: I can't remember what I wanted to discuss or ask about until after I leave the doctor's office.
Success Strategy: Make a plan before you go for your visit. Think about what you'd like to accomplish and what questions you'd like to ask. For instance, maybe you want to talk with your doctor about your medication side effects and ask about changing your dose or when you take your medication. Write down your questions and take your list with you.
Barrier: I don't remember everything my doctor says.
Success Strategy: Take a notepad and write down what the doctor says, or bring along a friend or family member. Also, ask the doctor if there is any printed information you can take home with you.
Barrier: I get nervous when I go to the doctor and have trouble talking about my condition.
Success Strategy: Planning ahead helps. Bring along a list of the key points you want to cover with your doctor. If it makes you more comfortable, ask a trusted friend or family member to come with you. Take your personal allergy diary to the doctor's office and use it to discuss your issues.
Barrier: I don't know when I should call my doctor.
Success Strategy: Ask your doctor for a list of any symptoms that might require immediate attention. Also, ask which medication side effects you should watch for, including the ones that are just bothersome and those that may be more serious.
Barrier: My doctor provides me with basic information, but I need to know more.
Success Strategy: Working through our Allergies & Asthma Health Center is a great way to expand your knowledge. In addition, you'll find other resources, toll-free numbers, and links listed on the following page.