How to Request a Test
When you visit your physician or other healthcare professional, go prepared. You may have heard about a new medical study, a new medication or a new laboratory test that might be right for you. If so, bring the information with you to your next appointment. Here are some tips to help facilitate the conversation with your doctor:
- Start with the facts. You may want to find out more information by searching on the Internet or finding information in a magazine or newspaper. To learn about tests and conditions you can visit testing A to Z or trusted websites such as:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- National Institutes of Health
- American Cancer Society
- American Heart Association
- Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
- National Kidney Disease
Print out a copy of the page from the website or the article that describes your area of interest and bring it to your appointment. This way, your doctor or other healthcare provider can see exactly what caught your attention.
- Call ahead. Phone your doctor or nurse’s office before your next exam to find out if a particular test is offered as part of a routine checkup. Find out if the test can be performed in the office or if you must go to a testing center to have it performed. In some instances, the doctor may ask you to get a test in advance so your results will be available at your office visit. Or he or she may want to investigate it further or talk with colleagues.
- Follow up. Once you have had testing, follow up on your test results. If you are in a state where it is permitted, get your results directly. If not, keep calling your physician’s office until you receive an answer regarding your test results.