Talking to Your Doctor About Stroke

Talk to your doctor about your health goals. Ask questions to better understand your health and care plan. Talking to your care team about your goals and concerns can lead to better results.

Tips for Gathering Information

Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:

  • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
  • Write your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get. Make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask the doctor to explain anything you don’t understand.
  • Don't be afraid to ask your questions. Also, ask where you can find more information. You have a right to know.

Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor

About Your Stroke

  • What has the stroke changed?
    • Thought process
    • How I speak or understand language
    • How I understand things around me
    • How I move
  • Will I get back any of these skills?
  • How long will it take to get back to where I was?

About Your Risk of Developing Stroke

  • How high is my risk of stroke?
  • Do I need to take medicine to lower my risk?
  • Are there tests I should take to better know my risk for a stroke?
  • What habits can I make to lessen my risk of having a stroke ?
  • Can I stop taking medicine if I start a heart healthy diet and stay active?

About Treatment Options

  • What treatments are available to me?
  • What type of rehab programs am I going to need?
  • How long does rehab last?
  • What is likely to happen without treatment?
  • What medicines are available to me?
    • What are the benefits and side effects?
    • Will these medicine interact with other medicine, or over-the-counter drugs? What dietary or herbal supplements should I take or avoid?
  • Are there any alternative or complementary therapies that will help me?

About Lifestyle Changes

  • What is my long-term outlook for:
    • Work
    • Daily living tasks
    • Physical activity and exercise
    • Mental function
  • How will this affect my family?
  • Should I follow a special diet?
  • Are there any changes to my diet that I should make? How do I go about it?
  • Should I begin an exercise program?
    • What kind of exercise is best?
    • How often should I exercise?
    • How do I get started exercising?
  • Should I stop drinking alcohol?
  • How can I find help quitting smoking?

About Your Outlook

  • Do you know of support groups for myself and my family?
  • What are the chances I will have another stroke after treatment?
  • How will I know that my treatment has been effective?
  • What can I expect in my recovery?
  • How often will I need check-ups?


Heart-to-heart. Talking to your doctor. American Heart Association website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated October 26, 2015. Accessed December 11, 2018.
Preparing for medical visits. American Heart Association website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated January 31, 2018. Accessed December 11, 2018.
Talking to your doctor. National Institutes of Health website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated December 10, 2018. Accessed December 11, 2018.
Tips for talking to your doctor. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated January 2018. Accessed December 11, 2018.
Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated: 12/112018


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