Questions for Your Cardiologist

When you have a heart condition, it’s important to find a physician you’re comfortable with - a cardiologist with the skills, knowledge and technology to help you manage your condition. Here are questions to ask when choosing a cardiologist, as well as before and during your first visit, and after diagnosis of your condition.

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Cardiologist

  • Where is your office?
  • What hours are you open?
  • How long does it take to get an appointment?
  • Are you a provider covered by my insurance?
  • Have you treated other patients with the condition I have? How many?
  • Who will I speak to if I have an emergency, like chest pain, and call your office? What about calls after hours and on weekends?
  • How will test results be communicated to me and to my primary care physician?

Questions to Ask Before Your First Visit

  • Do I need to bring my medical records?
  • Do I need to bring a list of my current medications?
  • Do I need a referral?

Questions to Ask During Your Visit

Your cardiologist is an expert in treating heart conditions. He or she can provide information to help you get the most out of your treatment. Ask questions. If you don’t understand the answers, don’t be afraid to ask for a more detailed explanation.  

  • Is there a name for my medical condition?
  • Is my heart condition genetic, or is it a result of my lifestyle choices?
  • How severe is my heart condition?
  • Is there a cure?
  • What type of complications might I experience?
  • Will changes in diet and exercise help my condition?
  • Is it safe for me to exercise?
  • What symptoms should prompt me to call an ambulance?
  • Can my heart condition be controlled with medication?
  • Where can I find more information about my heart condition?
  • When should I schedule my next appointment?

Questions to Ask if You Are Prescribed Heart Medication:

  • What are the potential side effects of this medication?
  • What should I do if I experience severe side effects?
  • Is it okay to take over-the-counter drugs, such as aspirin, while taking this?
  • Can I take this medication with my other medications?
  • If medication doesn’t control the condition, what’s the next step?

Questions to Ask if Your Cardiologist Recommends a Procedure

  • What is the name of the procedure?
  • Where will it be performed?
  • Who will perform it?
  • How soon do I need the procedure?
  • Should I get a second opinion?
  • How do I prepare for the procedure?
  • Will I need to stay in the hospital?
  • How long will it take to recover?
  • What’s the expected outcome of this procedure?
  • What type of follow-up will be necessary?
  • What are the risks if I choose not to have the procedure?