Q:

How do you ask your doctor for free medical advice?

A:

Quick Answer

The best time to receive medical advice from a doctor is during a scheduled appointment, but many doctors and nurses accept phone calls from established patients at no charge, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. In addition, some health insurance companies are able to answer questions.

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Full Answer

For free, personalized answers to a medical question without an appointment, call the clinic in which your doctor practices. Although the doctor may not be available, a nurse may be able to answer general questions. If the question is specifically for the doctor, he may be able to call back with the answer.

Health insurance companies are often willing to connect patients with a qualified nurse at no charge. For example, Wellmark offers 24-hour assistance for minor-to-severe medical problems, such as treating a cold, addressing medication symptoms and even surgery options.

It is important to prepare a list of questions ahead of time when visiting or phoning your doctor, explains the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Inform the nurse that you have questions for the doctor at the beginning of a scheduled appointment. If the doctor does not ask for questions at the end of the appointment, ask the doctor if he would be willing to answer a few questions. If he's pressed for time, see if a phone consultation within the next few days would be a good time to ask questions.

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