Choosing Wisely

5 QUESTIONS to Ask Your
Doctor Before You Get Any Test, Treatment, or Procedure


Do I really need this test or procedure? Medical tests help you and your doctor or other health provider decide how to treat a problem. And medical procedures help to actually treat it.


What are the risks and side effects? Will there be side effects? What are the chances of getting results that aren’t accurate? Could that lead to more testing or another procedure?


Are there simpler, safer options? Sometimes all you need to do is make lifestyle changes, such as eating healthier food or exercising more.


What happens if I don’t do anything? Ask if your condition might get worse — or better — if you don’t have the test or procedure right away.


How much does it cost, and will my insurance pay for it? Ask if there are less-expensive tests, treatments or procedures, what your insurance may cover, and about generic drugs instead of brand-name drugs.

Use these 5 questions to talk to your doctor about which tests, treatments, and procedures you need — and which you don’t need.

Some medical tests, treatments, and procedures provide little benefit. And in some cases, they may even cause harm.

Talk to your doctor to make sure you end up with
the right amount of care — not too much and not too little.

Doctor writing prescription on RX pad.