If you’re like me, you may feel a little overwhelmed when you have to go into the doctor, knowing that you will likely only have a short time to explain your concern(s), and then he or she will only have a moment to access their wealth of knowledge and experience to make a suggestion that might help you:  I/E - medication, surgery, psychotherapy, exercise, etc.

One practical tip that I’ve read is to make a list of all of your concerns with which they may be able to help, and then prioritize just the top 1 or 2 items to discuss during your appointment.  You will usually be able to note the other concerns on the medical intake form given to you before your appointment, so this information will be found somewhere in your records, but you may or may not be able to bring them up during the current discussion.  Please remember that our poor healthcare providers often feel quite overwhelmed themselves, and are usually doing their very best, despite working in a high-pressure system.

When your provider makes suggestions, sometimes it can be hard to think of the right questions to ask during the appointment, so you will find a short list of things you may want to talk about below.  This will help both you and your medical team work together to make decisions that keep you comfortable and safe:

Rachel Fitz-Desorgher, a leading parenting expert and midwife in England, made the following acronym for questions we can ask, and I thought it was an excellent gem that ALL of us can apply as we seek any type of physical, mental and/or emotional healthcare:

  • B — BENEFITS — What are the potential benefits of the treatment?
  • R — RISKS — What are the potential risks of the treatment?
  • A — ALTERNATIVES - What are alternatives that can be considered?
    • Ask for benefits & risks for each alternative
  • I  — INTUITION — What is your instinct, or gut reaction, to each suggestion?  
    • Remember that a good practitioner treats the whole person, including your thoughts and feelings.
  • N — NOTHING — What if we do nothing?
Please remember that while your healthcare practitioner has tons of knowledge and experience, YOU are the one who will be living inside your mind and body 24/7, so it’s super important to work in a partnership with them, putting into practice the program that you agree on, and then communicating any positive or negative reactions.

Note:  Many practitioners are only a text/email away, or you may be able to communicate with them through their practice’s “portal”.  Please ask them the best way to communicate with them and their staff, between appointments, so that you can send updates on your progress, and ask urgent questions.  This is important, especially because these days it might take weeks, or months, to get your followup appointment.

May you take care of yourself, so that you can continue to be and do your best each day!


  1. Extremely valuable information. Thank you!
    Mischa Brown AUTHOR  04/13/2024 09:25 AM Central
    You’re welcome . I’m so glad you find it valuable. :-)
  2. Great advice! We are our greatest advocate for ourselves when it comes to medical care. My mother once told me “Ask lots of questions! If your doctor has issues with you asking questions, get another doctor!” We are the ones living in our own bodies and usually know what’s going on. Our doctors should be our PARTNERS in our health care. Not our dictators. Thank you for this information.
    Mischa Brown AUTHOR  02/23/2024 07:01 PM Central
    I completely agree! Your mother is a wise woman.

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