6 Better Questions to Ask Your Doctor
What You're Used to Asking: Before you go, can I ask you a few questions I wrote down?
The Smarter Version: Can we start by going through my list of questions?
Here's why: The average doctor's appointment (from traveling to the office and filling out paperwork to settling the bill afterward) takes more than 2 hours of our time, but we're only with the doc an average of 20 minutes, finds a new study from Harvard Medical School. In that limited time, your doctor is trying to cover issues related to your own health and those that generally apply to women your age, says Lydia Pace, MD, MPH, an internist in the division of women's health at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Asking your questions up front—especially those that aren't related to an issue your doctor already knows about—will help set an agenda that's specific to you and your concerns.