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Questions to ask your doctor

We have compiled a list of questions you might want to consider asking your doctor to help you get the most out of your appointments

You may have a limited amount of time with your doctor or health professional so it can be useful to think about the questions you want to ask in advance. You may also find it helpful to download our question lists, which are available in Word format, so that you can print them and take them with you (feel free to delete the ones that aren't relevant and add your own before printing).  Or you could write down the questions you want to ask in order of importance. Carers of people with neurological conditions may also find these questions useful.

Don't forget, if you still have questions following your appointment you can always call the nurses on the Brain & Spine Helpline.

On this page:


Questions to consider asking your GP

Download GP questions by clicking the link below

Download Word doc

  • Can I check that I’ve understood what you said? What you’re saying is...
  • Would it help to see a specialist?
  • Can I be referred to a specialist?
  • To which specialist am I being referred?
  • What is he /she a specialist in?
  • Do I have a choice of specialist?
  • Where will I see the specialist? Is there a choice of places I could see them?
  • How long will I have to wait to see a specialist?
  • Am I being treated as an urgent referral?
  • Can I see a copy of any letters written about me?
  • Are there any services I would benefit from while I am waiting for a specialist appointment?
  • Is there a support group I could talk to while I wait for a specialist appointment?
  • Is there any written material available about managing my symptoms or about the possible diagnosis and treatment?


Questions to consider asking about tests and scans

Download test and scan questions by clicking the link below

Download Word doc

  • What are the tests for?
  • How and when will I find out the results of the tests?
  • Who do I contact if I don’t get the results?
  • Who can I talk to about the results of the tests / scans?


Questions to consider at diagnosis / when asking about treatment options

Download diagnosis and treatment questions by clicking the link below

Download Word doc

  • What are the different types of treatment options?
  • Are there other ways to treat my condition?
  • How long can I take to decide what treatment I have?
  • What does the treatment aim to do?
  • What is the likelihood of success of the treatment?
  • When will I know if the treatment has worked?
  • What if the treatment doesn’t work?
  • Will I have to spend time in hospital?
  • How often will I need the treatment?
  • How long will my treatment last?
  • How will I feel during my treatment and are there any lasting side effects?
  • Are there any risks of the treatment?
  • Will I be able to continue my current lifestyle?
  • How will this condition or the treatment affect my personal and social relationships?
  • Are my children at risk of inheriting this condition?
  • Who will manage my treatment?
  • Will the treatment or the condition affect my ability to drive?
  • Can I still work?
  • Can I be included as part of a clinical trial?
  • Is there any written material about the treatment options?
  • Are there any local support groups that I could contact?
  • Is there a helpline I could talk to?
  • Is there anything else I can do to help myself?
  • What happens next – do I come back and see you?


Questions to consider asking about the ongoing management of your condition

Download ongoing management questions by clicking the link below

Download Word doc

  • Am I receiving all the benefits I am entitled to?
  • Where can I get further information and advice about financial support
  • How do I obtain further assistance to help with day to day living?
  • Could I benefit from additional equipment and who do I talk to about this?
  • Where can I get help with equipment locally?
  • Where can I get help with transport?
  • Where can I get help to return to work?
  • Would my carer(s) benefit from additional support and help?
  • What organisations are there available locally for carers?
  • Is there is a national organisation covering my condition and how do I get in touch with them?
  • Could I benefit from further rehabilitation?
  • Are there any new treatments available which I might benefit from?


Still need help?

Our Helpline staff can answer any questions you may have about your tests, diagnosis, treatment or condition. Just call free on 0808 808 1000 or read more about the Helpline.