ASK: Integrative Healthcare Checklists

Integrative medicine is all about actively driving your healthcare, and this can be challenging. These simple checklists will help you gather information, make decisions, and communicate effectively in various healthcare situations.


When looking for a new provider, ASK the office staff (prior to scheduling a visit):

  • What educational background, additional training, licenses, and certifications do you have?
  • Are there diseases/health conditions in which you specialize, and how often do you treat patients with conditions similar to mine?
  • Do you believe your specialty therapy can effectively address my complaint? Is there scientific research to support this claim?
  • How many patients do you typically see per day, and how much time do you spend with each patient?
  • When are appointments offered? How long is the wait for an appointment?
  • Is there a brochure or Web site to tell me more about your practice?

At a healthcare appointment, ASK:

  • What is going on with me? Or, what is my diagnosis?
  • What are my options for treatment, including both conventional and evidence-based complementary options?
  • What should I be doing now to manage my condition?

When prescribed medication, ASK:

  • What is this medication?
  • What symptoms does it treat?
  • How much do I take and how do I take it?
  • What are possible side effects?
  • How will I know that it’s working?
  • How much does it cost? (Is there an appropriate cheaper substitute?)
  • How will it interact with other integrative treatments I am currently using?

When deciding on a new treatment, ASK:

  • What kind of benefits can I expect from this treatment, and how soon will I see the benefits?
  • What are the side effects and risks of this treatment?
  • How much will this cost?
  • What is the evidence for or against this therapy?  

To determine what your insurance will cover, ASK:

  • Is my preferred provider included in your network?
  • If I choose an out-of-network provider, do you offer any coverage?
  • Is all or part of the costs for XYZ treatment covered under my insurance plan?
  • Are there comparable treatments that are covered under my insurance plan?
  • Are there complementary treatments for this condition covered under my insurance plan?