Questions to ask your medical practitioner

  • Why do I need to see a specialist?
  • Why are you choosing this particular specialist?
  • Is this specialist experienced in performing the procedure I need?
  • How can I make an appointment with the specialist?
  • If I do need to be admitted to hospital, how long will I have to wait?
  • If the specialist you have referred me to has a lengthy waiting time for admission, is there another specialist you can recommend who can admit me sooner?
  • How do I find out how much it will cost to see the specialist?

What to ask your specialist

Most of the information below will most likely be discussed at the time of the consultation with your specialist. However the following questions may be helpful for you as a guide/checklist:

  • What may happen to me if I do not have the procedure you suggest?
  • Can you describe exactly what you intend to do?
  • How necessary is this procedure?
  • How urgent is this procedure?
  • How long will I have to wait for my procedure?
  • How long do you expect the procedure to take?
  • What type of anaesthetic (general or local) will I need to have?
  • What are the risks associated with the procedure?
  • What are the risks associated with the anaesthetic?
  • Will I need a blood transfusion?
  • Will you or someone else be performing the actual operation?
  • At which hospital will the operation be done?
  • Will I need any tests before the operation? What are they?
  • Is there anything I should or should not do before my operation?
  • How long will I be in hospital?
  • What happens after the operation? How can I expect to feel after the operation?
  • What sort of follow up care will I need after I leave hospital?
  • How long will I be away from work or unable to perform the routine tasks that I now do?
  • How much will it cost me? (operation, tests, post-op visits, total)
  • Are there any alternatives to the surgery for me?
  • What should I do if my condition gets worse while I am waiting for the surgery?

Contact us

If you're waiting for surgery at either Canberra Hospital or Calvary Public Hospital and are concerned about your waiting time, call Surgery Access on (02) 6205 1122.