Talking to Your Doctor About Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
General Tips for Gathering Information
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Ask Your doctor
- Do I have CAD?
- How much blockage do I have in my arteries?
- Based on my medical history, lifestyle, and family background, am I at risk for CAD?
- How can I prevent CAD?
- What are all my treatment options?
- Do I have to take medications or will I need surgery?
- If I have surgery, will I be cured?
- What kind of medication do I have to take?
- What is the medication supposed to do?
- Will I always have to take medication?
- What are the possible side effects? What should be done if they occur?
- Where can I get more information about the medication?
- If the side effects are bad, can I take something else that works as well?
- Are there certain activities or sports that I should avoid? Is it safe to have sex?
- How can I find help to quit smoking?
- Can you refer me to a registered dietitian to help me with my diet?
- What exercises are best and how much do I need?
- Should I need to stop drinking alcohol?
- If I change my lifestyle habits, will I still need to take medication?
- What will happen over the next few weeks, months, and years?
- Will my condition get worse?
- What are the most important things I can do to manage this condition?
Heart-to-heart. Talking to your doctor. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/ConsumerHealthCare/Heart-to-heart-Talking-to-Your-Doctor%5FUCM%5F323844%5FArticle.jsp. Updated June 20, 2013. Accessed January 29, 2014.
Preparing for medical visits. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/CardiacRehab/Preparing-for-Medical-Visits%5FUCM%5F307053%5FArticle.jsp. Updated March 22, 2013. Accessed January 29, 2014.
Talking to your doctor. National Institutes of Health website. Available at: http://nih.gov/clearcommunication/talktoyourdoctor.htm. Accessed January 29, 2014.
Tips for talking to your doctor. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/healthcare-management/working-with-your-doctor/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor.html. Updated November 2010. Accessed January 29, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC
- Review Date: 03/2015 -
- Update Date: 03/15/2015 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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