What to ask your new doctor:
It's probably important to note for this section that I've had some great experiences with doctors and some pretty rotten experiences as well. There were times when I stayed with less than great doctors, but those times are over. I have now "fired" a few doctors too. Don't get me wrong. I respect doctors, but I expect them to both deserve my respect and to return it. So, the first few questions in this section are about how the doctor works with his/her patients and what you want and can expect from the doctor. Not everyone will be comfortable with these questions, so you can, of course, just not use them. They are here because they are questions I always want answered before I decide if I am even going to begin treatment with a particular doctor.
Questions about the doc and his/her practice:
I'll suggest the phrasing here, but you'll want to phrase these questions in a way that's natural for you, of course.
- I want to be active in my healthcare. How do you feel about the team approach where the patient is an active member of their own health care team?
- Because I want to understand, not because I question your judgment, I tend to ask quite few questions. Will this bother you?
- Will you be the doctor I see every time I have an appointment here? (for group practices)
- What's the procedure if I need assistance outside of office hours?
Questions about headaches and treatment:
- What is the diagnosis of your headaches/Migraines? (tension, cluster, Migraine, etc.)
- If you don't understand what happens in your body during these episodes, and want to know, ask the doctor to explain it.
- Are there lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent these headaches/Migraines?
- What might be triggering these headaches/Migraines?
- If you are diagnosed with Migraine disease, are the episodes frequent enough to consider preventive medications?
Regarding medications being prescribed:
- What type of drug is this, and how does it work?
- If prescribing more than one drug, what should be taken when, and in what order?
- What are the possible side effects? Will they go away? At what point should you call you about any side effects?
- What is this drug's potential to cause rebound headache? If you have already used it as many consecutive days as it can safely be used without risking rebound, what can you take instead?
- If nausea is a problem, and the doctor does not offer to prescribe an antinausea drug, it would be a good idea to ask for one. (Reglan, Phenergan, Compazine)
- If there has been a significant change in your headache/Migraine patterns, and your doctor is not ordering an imaging study (CT scan or MRI), ask about it.
- Does the doctor suggest a magnesium supplement? If so, what type of magnesium, and in what amount? What about other vitamin or mineral supplements?
- Does the doctor suggest herbal remedies such as feverfew or butterbur? Again, in what amounts?
- Does the doctor suggest Coenzyme Q10 for Migraine and headache prevention? In what amounts?
- What about complementary therapies such as acupuncture, massage, biofeedback?
There are many other questions you may want to ask that will pertain to your individual situation, but this is a beginning. You may want to copy and paste these into your word processing program. That way you can add extra spaces between them and make notes while you're in the doctor's office.