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Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

Video on Communicating with Your Doctor

Communicating with your doctor isn't always easy. Yet, getting the information you need, and getting your doctor the information he or she needs, is essential for good health care. Asking questions can help. This video can help you understand how some common barriers to good communication can be overcome by asking the right questions.

Accessibility Notice: The file format for the video is not resident on a Federal Government Web site and may not comply with the requirements for Federal information resources under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

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This video Web program, produced with Healthology, features information to help patients communicate better with their doctors.

In the program, experts discuss:

  • What the barriers are to good communication between patient and doctor.
  • What steps you can take to make sure you understand everything your doctor is saying.
  • What questions you should ask your doctor about medical tests, diagnosis, and medicines.
  • How you can ask your doctor about alternative therapies.
  • How you can become more comfortable asking your doctor about sensitive topics.

The video is based on Quick Tips—When Talking with Your Doctor:

The following experts are featured in the video:

  • Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., Director of AHRQ.
  • N. Lee Rucker, M.S.P.H., Strategic Policy Advisor, Public Policy Institute, American Association of Retired Persons.
  • Rick Kellerman, M.D., F.A.A.F.P., President, American Academy of Family Physicians.

Watch Video

You may watch the Web program by opening it on your computer. Note the System Requirements below.

  • Communicating with Your Doctor: Video, 5 minutes [Transcript].

    To Access Closed Captioning: After "Video" link is selected, a pop-up window will appear. Select the Pause Button in lower left corner of the pop-up window and then select the "View Closed Captions" link. The video will play in a new window with captioning.

System Requirements

The following table summarizes the minimum hardware and software requirements for viewing the video on a PC or Mac®.

Processor: 667 MHz Intel® Pentium® III processor or equivalent
Memory (RAM): 128 MB of RAM
Screen Resolution: 800 x 600
Color: 16-bit
Modem: 56.6 Kbps modem
Sound Card: 16-bit sound card and speakers
Browser: Internet Explorer 5.5 or Netscape Communicator® 7.0, Firefox™*, Safari™, Javascript™ should be enabled in the browser.
Digital Media Player: Windows Media® player 6.4* or RealPlayer® 10 (Note: Windows Media® player 8 is not a working player).
Operating Systems: Windows® XP, Windows® 2000, Windows® 98, Windows NT® 4.0, Mac® OS X

Note: The video will play with Windows Media® Player 9 or 10. However, there may be a problem if you use these players with a Firefox™ browser.

More Consumer Resources from AHRQ

More online consumer materials from AHRQ are at:

Consumer materials in Spanish are available at:

Current as of January 2008

Internet Citation:

Video on Communicating with Your Doctor. January 2008. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care