Talking with your Child's Doctor

While talking with your child's physician, it is important to remember the following:  

  • Review the Materials You Brought With You
    Remember to review all of the materials that you had prepared for the physician, including questions, current drugs your child is taking, medical history, etc. Be sure to be brief and clear in your descriptions and prioritize your questions.   

  • Take Notes
    Even if you can't write down everything you hear, an outline of the discussion will dramatically increase your memory of the information. Take some time immediately after the visit to fill in other details you remember about the discussion. It may also help to talk your visit over with a friend or family member soon afterward.  

  • Ask for Information that is Organized
    Ask your doctor to put information into categories such as what is wrong, what tests your child may need, what treatments are available, and what you must do. 

  • Ask for Explanations
    When in doubt about a term your child's doctor uses, ask. A good way to ensure that you understand is to restate what you believe the doctor has told you. Then if you've misunderstood something, your doctor can explain it again.  

  • Receive Necessary Paperwork
    Make sure to ask the doctor for any follow-up care instructions, prescriptions, or letters of medical necessity (necessary for school or your child's primary care physician), before leaving the examination room.