A patient can communicate most efficiently and effectively with their new urologist by making a list of questions that can be asked both before the visit and during the appointment. Inquiries made before the visit allow the patient to better understand how the office works, how insurance is handled, and so on. Once in the physician's presence, additional questions help the patient understand their condition and how treatment will be carried out.
The questions get more detailed if the patient has a specific disease, like penile cancer.
Before the visit, ask office staff:
- Do you accept my insurance?
- Ask about special needs (handicap access, translators for foreign language)
- Is the doctor usually on time?
- How long will my appointment last?
- Should I bring any records from previous physicians?
Questions for the urologist include:
- Do you specialize in my condition?
- How many patients with my condition do you see in an average month?
- If I need an operation, how many of these cases have you done?
- Who else will be involved in my care/operation?
- How can I contact you for questions and emergencies?
- How long does it usually take you or your office to respond to inquiries?
- Do you communicate by email?
If the patient suspects a urologic condition, some questions to consider asking include:
- What is my condition? How bad is it?
- How will the condition affect my life and daily activities?
- What do my test results say, and what do they mean?
- What treatment, if any, do you recommend?
- If none, why not?
- What are the pros and cons of the various forms of treatment?
- How will treatment affect my sex life and/or urinary control?
- How rapidly will I recover after treatment? Is there anything I can do to speed up the recovery process?
- If the condition comes back, how will I know and how will it be treated?
- What symptoms should I be aware of?
- If cancer, has it metastasized? If so, what are the chances of survival?
- Is participating in a clinical trial a good idea?