What Questions Should I Ask My Hematologist?

 In Hematology

A hematologist is a doctor that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions and diseases that affect the blood. If your primary care physician has referred you to a hematologist, he or she likely thinks you may have a blood disorder.

Hematologists are a valuable resource to help you understand and manage your blood condition, but first, they must work with you to reach a diagnosis. At your first appointment, it’s important to be thorough and open with your physician to receive the best diagnosis and treatment options.

Before your visit, it’s a good idea to organize your thoughts and health history by writing it down. We recommend you make a list of your health conditions and symptoms along with any medications you are taking. Preparing a list of questions can also help you get the most out of your appointment.

Here are some questions that you may want to ask your hematologist.

Making a diagnosis

  • What diagnosis do you think I have judging from my symptoms?
  • What causes my condition or disorder?
  • How common is my diagnosis?
  • What test do I need to confirm the diagnosis?
  • Will any of these tests need to be repeated after I undergo treatment? How often?
  • What should I expect with this diagnosis?
  • Have you worked with other patients that have this diagnosis?
  • Is my blood condition curable?

Treatment options

  • What is my best course of treatment?
  • What side effects does the treatment have?
  • What is the treatment’s success rate?
  • What will the treatment cost? Will my insurance cover it?

Lifestyle changes and follow-up details

  • Should I make any lifestyle or diet changes to improve my quality of life?
  • Will I still be able to work or travel?
  • Are there any activities I should avoid?
  • Should my family members get tested for possible hereditary issues?
  • What resources do you recommend so that I can read more about my condition?
  • What type of follow-up appointments should I expect?

During your visit, you may receive a lot of information that can sometimes feel overwhelming. You are welcome to bring a family member or friend with you to your appointment if you need additional support. Another person can help you process the information and ensure all of your questions get answered.

If you’d like to schedule an appointment with a hematologist, please contact our medical practice in Wake Forest.

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