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20 Questions RA Patients Should Ask a Doctor

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There are lots of questions RA patients can and should ask doctors…

The following is a list of suggested questions to ask a doctor. The list of questions was designed to be useful with a new RA doctor, but many of them you could ask any doctor. Some of these questions are from my own “must ask” list and others were sent in by readers. You can add your own favorite question in comments box below.

Warning: Use this list at your own risk. 20 Questions is a fun game, but some doctors react defensively to more than one question at a time. So I guess we might have to choose questions carefully with certain doctors. If I had to ask only one, I guess it would be numbers 4 through 8. Oh that’s more than one, isn’t it? Maybe I’d try to combine those into one long awkward question!

  1. How long have you been practicing? Why did you decide to practice in this field?
  2. Will I be able to contact you outside of office hours? Do you take any calls, faxes, e-mails?
  3. Will you assist me in getting copies of my test results?
  4. How much do you read current research on RA and new treatments? Are you a member of the ACR (American College of Rheumatology) or EULAR (European League Against Rheumatism)?
  5. How heavily do you rely on blood tests in my treatment?
  6. Do you use patient assessments of disease activity? Such as RAPID (Routine Assessment of Patient Index Data) or an HAQ (Health Assessment Questionnaire)?
  7. How aggressively do you treat the disease / Rheumatoid Arthritis?
  8. What do you think is the significance of the Rheumatoid factor test?
  9. What is my anti-CCP level? What is its significance?
  10. What kind of pain relief do you prescribe?
  11. What would you recommend to your mother if she were in my situation?
  12. Do you want me to participate in decisions about my own treatment?
  13. What do I do if I have a problem with someone on your staff?
  14. Can anything be done to help me function better?
  15. Do you want me to continue my treatments if I get a virus? An infection?
  16. Will I see an occupational therapist to learn ways to reduce damage or preserve function? Or learn about gadgets to use?
  17. Are there any clinical trials available to me? Do you participate?
  18. If I write something down or fill something out, will you read it? My hands hurt.
  19. Will you help me file for disability?
  20. Do you have any friend or relative with this disease / Rheumatoid Arthritis?

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Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Friday, July 23rd, 2010 at 8:45 am and is filed under RA Education. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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