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Questions to Ask Your Cardiologist

Whether you are consulting with a cardiologist regarding the results of a screening test or referred by your primary care physician, patients often have a list of questions to ask the doctor, but don’t know where to start. It is important to spend time with your cardiologist to better understand your diagnosis and treatment options if recommended. Here is a list of questions to consider asking your cardiologist or primary care physician.

What to ask

What are possible causes for my symptoms?
What tests are available and which should I take?
Do I need to see a specialist?
What is my diagnosis called and what are possible long-term effects?
What are the treatment options and what are the pros and cons of each?
What is the least treatment I can do for this and how could it affect my condition? Will I feel better or live longer?
What is the most treatment I can do for this and how could it affect my condition? Will I feel better or live longer?
If my condition is genetic, should family members be tested?
Am I a candidate for surgery if recommended?
What are realistic alternatives to medication therapy or surgery?
What does the latest research say about my best treatment options and outcomes?
Do you have materials on my diagnosis I can take home to review?

Also, do not hesitate to ask the “what if” questions.
                What if I don’t seek any treatment for my condition?
                What if something goes wrong during this procedure? What are the risks?
                What if the medication does not work for me?
                What if my symptoms worsen?
                What if I continue to smoke?
How many times will I see you following treatment?
What lifestyle modification or restrictions should I make?

During Your Visit

As you are asking your doctor your questions, it may be helpful to take a family member with you to take notes. It is important to document the conversation if you have any follow up questions. If your doctor has specific instructions, ask for those to be written down and make sure you understand them before leaving. Ask if there is additional information online, such as videos of the procedures or patient testimonials.