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Talk to Me:
Improving Health Literacy through Communication

Health Literacy for Patients

Quiz: Health Care Consumers/Patients

Now that you've heard from doctors, listened to WOSU news stories, and surfed the web, it's time to test your knowledge with a quiz.


1. True or false: Your doctor is in a hurry, so you should not keep him/her from important matters.

2. True or false: If you are unclear about a few things your doctor is telling you, ask for clarification.

3. True or false: Carry a list of all prescription medicines with you. Give a copy of the list to your doctor and your pharmacist.

4. Your doctor wants to prescribe a drug. Which of the following question(s) should you ask?

a. What side effects might I expect?

b. Will this drug interact badly with other medications Iím taking?

c. What is the cost of the medication?

d. Is there a non-pharmaceutical way to treat my ailment?

e. All of the above.

5. True or false: I get some of my drugs by mail order and some at a local pharmacy. The pharmacist probably doesnít want to bother with someone who shops elsewhere.

6. True or false: If you find yourself much more forgetful than usual, you are just getting older.

7. True or false: The Internet is a great source of information about illnesses and medications.


1.False. While your doctor probably is in a hurry, when you are in the room with him/her, you are the important matter. Take the time you need, and make a second appointment if necessary.

2. True. Physicians want you to be clear on what they are saying, and they want to be clear on what you are saying. Consider the following strategies; take notes, ask the doctor to write down information, bring someone with you, ask questions.

3. True. Include prescription drugs and over the counter medicine, including herbal supplements.

4. E: All of the above. Prescription drugs often have side effects, and doctors are aware that cost is important to patients. Double-check and avoid interactions with other drugs, and don't be afraid to ask for a non-medical alternative.

5.False. The pharmacist is an excellent resource for information about prescription and non-prescription drugs as well as herbal and other supplements.

6. False. Memory loss is not a normal part of aging. Sudden loss of memory or forgetfulness can have a physical cause. Check with your doctor.

7. True and False. The Internet is a source, but let the browser beware of potentially false or misleading information. In general, pay more attention to web sites that end in dot-gov (government sites such as the Centers for Disease Control) or dot-edu (education sites such as The Ohio State University Medical Center). Pay less attention to dot-com sites where individuals or companies are promoting a treatment or medication which they are also selling.