Take Control of Your Health choosing Wisely - Work with Your Doctor and Ask Questions

The patient-physician relationship is one of the most important partnerships you will have in your life. You'll be sharing important personal and confidential information about your health, lifestyle and medical concerns. And, when your doctor suggests a treatment, screening or drug, you should be able to ask questions and be a partner in decisions that impact your health and pocketbook.

Make a decision checklist of what type of doctor and office you prefer. Once you've selected a physician, tour the potential doctor's location. Did you meet and like the doctor? Do they have the specialists you need there? Are walk-ins available? Is it convenient to get to? And are there other services on-site, like lab work or a pharmacy? When your doctor recommends a drug, treatment or test, be sure to ask if it's appropriate for you.

To help guide your discussion with your doctor, we've included a list of articles below from "Consumer Reports" and other patient friendly groups.

Selecting a Doctor

Watch our video, Being a partner with your doctor.

To help guide your discussion with your doctor, we've included a list of articles below from "Consumer Reports" and other patient friendly groups.

Information from the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality

  • Be More Involved with Your Care This brochure gives you tips to use before, during, and after your medical appointment to make sure you get the best possible care. Select for a card to list the questions you want to ask during your medical visits. Patients who talk with their doctors tend to be happier with their care and have better medical results.
  • Questions to Ask Your Doctor Asking questions and providing information to your doctor and other care providers can improve your care. Talking with your doctor builds trust and leads to better results, quality, safety, and satisfaction.
    Quality health care is a team effort. You play an important role. One of the best ways to communicate with your doctor and health care team is by asking questions. Because time is limited during medical appointments, you will feel less rushed if you prepare your questions before your appointment.
  • Patient & Clinician Videos In these short videos, patients talk about how simple questions can help you take better care of yourself, feel better, and get the right care at the right time. Doctors and nurses talk about how your questions help them take better care of you and give advice on how you can be an active member of your health care team and get your questions answered.
  • Create Your Own Questions for the Doctor Be prepared for your next medical appointment. Create a list of questions that you can take with you whether you are getting a checkup, talking about a problem or health condition, getting a prescription, or discussing a medical test or surgery. Whatever the reason for your visit, it is important to be prepared. With the Question Builder, it is easy.


  • Reducing the Risk of Breast Cancer With Medicine: A Guide for Women
  • Reducing the Risk of Breast Cancer With Medicine: A Guide for Women

    09/04/2009
    From: AHRQ
    This guide can help you talk with your doctor or nurse about medicine to reduce the risk of breast cancer. It talks about two different medicines. It gives information about benefits, side effects, and cost.
    Main Article
    Spanish Version
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Sleep Apnea

    08/08/2011
    From: AHRQ
    A doctor said you have mild, moderate, or severe obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. People with OSA may snore and stop (or pause) their breathing a few or many times when they sleep.
    Main Article
  • The Business of Healing Hearts: Not all heart tests are needed
  • The Business of Healing Hearts: Not all heart tests are needed

    02/01/2012
    From: Consumer Reports
    Cardiac care is a money-making machine that too often favors profit over science.
    Main Article
  • Thinking About Inducing Your Labor: A Guide for Pregnant Women
  • Thinking About Inducing Your Labor: A Guide for Pregnant Women

    03/01/2009
    From: AHRQ
    This guide can help you talk to your doctor or midwife about elective induction of labor. It helps answer these questions. What is elective induction? What are the possible problems with elective induction? What don't we know yet about elective induction? This guide covers what research can and can't tell us about elective induction. It is based on a government-funded review of research reports about elective induction of labor.
    Main Article
    Spanish Version
  • Tip For a Doctor's Visit
  • Tip For a Doctor's Visit

    07/30/2014
    From: The Joint Commission
    Your visit to the doctor is your time to talk and learn about your health. Patients have a role in
    their health care, just like doctors, nurses, and other caregivers.
    Main Article
  • Treating and Preventing C-diff Infections
  • Treating and Preventing C-diff Infections

    12/19/2011
    From: AHRQ
    This summary will provide information from the most recent review of research on C-diff infections to help you understand your treatment options and ways to prevent future infections.
    Main Article
    Spanish Version
  • Urinary Incontinence in Women
  • Urinary Incontinence in Women

    04/09/2012
    From: AHRQ
    The information in this summary is from a report that reviewed 905 studies between January 1990 and December 2011 on treatments without surgery for urinary incontinence. You can use the information from research to understand what is known about the possible benefits and side effects of each treatment option. This information will help you talk with your doctor about what option may be best for you.
    Main Article
    Spanish Version
  • What doctors wish their patients knew
  • What doctors wish their patients knew

    03/01/2011
    From: Consumer Reports
    Getting the best care from your doctor requires navigating a complex relationship within the 20 or so minutes allotted for the typical office visit.
    Main Article
  • What Doctors Wish Their Patients Knew Survey
  • What Doctors Wish Their Patients Knew Survey

    06/27/2012
    From: Consumer Reports
    We surveyed hundreds of doctors, and thousands of our subscribers, to discover what both can do to strengthen the doctor-patient relationship.
    Main Article
  • When to say 'Whoa!' to tests and procedures
  • When to say 'Whoa!' to tests and procedures

    05/10/2012
    From: Consumer Reports
    A guide to common tests and treatments you probably don't need.
    Main Article
  • Wisconsin: How Does Your Doctor Compare?
  • Wisconsin: How Does Your Doctor Compare?

    01/04/2013
    From: Consumer Reports
    This special report for Wisconsin residents rates 19 medical groups across the state on key measures of care.
    Main Article
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