Answers to Common Health Literacy Questions

Premier Physician Network providers answer frequently asked questions about health literacy.

What 10 questions can help start a conversation between a patient and medical provider?

Asking your doctor or advanced practice provider questions is an important part of being an active participant in your medical care.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends writing down a list of any questions you have before your visit so you don’t forget them once you arrive.

Also, sometimes asking questions is a good way to strengthen the relationship between you and your medical provider, according to the HHS.

Below are 10 examples of questions the HHS suggests patients could ask during a visit:

  • Are there any lifestyle changes you would recommend to improve my diagnosis?
  • Have you done many of that type of procedure before?
  • How do I take the medicine you are prescribing me?
  • How long will test results take?
  • How successful was has this procedure been with others of your patients on whom you have performed it?
  • What are the risks or benefits of each treatment option?
  • What are treatment options?
  • What does the medicine you are prescribing do for me?
  • What is my diagnosis?
  • Will I need a test to determine my diagnosis?

Though these questions can give you a starting point for opening up a conversation with your physician, it’s important for patients to feel open to talk to their medical providers about any questions or concerns they have.

You can also ask your providers to give you written instructions or brochures, or to suggest websites that might have more information about your care.

Learn more:

Source: Joseph Allen, MD, Family Medicine of Vandalia; Christopher Aviles, MD, Beavercreek Family Physicians; Michael Dulan, MD, Dulan and Moore Dulan Family Wellness Center; Aleda Johnson, MD, Liberty Family Medicine; Josh Ordway, MD, Franklin Family Practice; Joseph Leithold, MD, Woodcroft Family Practice; Anne Nestor, MD, Trenton Family Medicine; Melinda Ruff, MD, Centerville Family Medicine; Anessa Alappatt, MD, Fairborn Medical Center; Jennifer Romaker, NP-C, Fairfield Road Physician Offices