by EBSCO Medical Review Board

You have your own health history. Talk with your doctor about your risk factors and background with stroke. By talking openly and often with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.

Here are some tips to help you to talk to your doctor:

  • Bring someone with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask. They may also be able to provide more details to the doctor.
  • Write down your questions so do you do not forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for help if you need it.
  • Do not be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information. You have a right to know.
  • What has my stroke changed?
    • My thought process
    • How I speak or understand words
    • 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?
  • 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 what my risk is?
  • What habits can I make to lower my risk?
  • Can I stop taking medicine if I eat heart healthy foods and stay active?
  • What treatments are available to me?
  • What type of rehab programs am I going to need?
  • How long does rehab last?
  • What could happen without treatment?
  • What medicines are available to me?
    • What are the benefits and side effects?
    • Will these medicines interact with the other medicines, over the counter products, dietary, or herbal supplements that I already take?
  • Are there any alternative or complementary therapies that will help me?
  • What is my long-term outlook for:
    • Work
    • Daily tasks
    • Physical activity and exercise
    • Mental function
  • How will this affect my family?
  • Should I follow a special diet?
  • Should I make any changes to the foods that I eat? How do I do this?
  • Should I start working out?
    • What kind of program is best?
    • How often should I exercise?
    • How do I get started?
  • Should I stop drinking alcohol?
  • How can I find help quitting smoking?
  • Are there any support groups for myself and my family?
  • What are the chances I will have another stroke after treatment?
  • How will I know if my treatment has helped?
  • What will recovery be like?
  • How often will I need check-ups?


Preparing for medical visits. American Heart Association website. Available at: Accessed March 14, 2022.

Stroke. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: Accessed March 11, 2022.

Stroke (acute management). EBSCO DynaMed website. Accessed March 11, 2022.

Talking with your doctor or healthcare provider. National Institutes of Health website. Available at: Accessed March 14, 2022.

Getting the most out of your doctor appointment. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: Accessed March 14, 2022.

Winstein CJ, Stein J, Arena R, et al, American Heart Association Stroke Council, Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing, Council on Clinical Cardiology, and Council on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research.. Guidelines for Adult Stroke Rehabilitation and Recovery: A Guideline for Healthcare Professionals From the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke. 2016 Jun;47(6):e98-e169 full-text, corrections can be found in Stroke 2017 Feb;48(2):e78 and Stroke 2017 Dec;48(12):e369.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review BoardRimas Lukas, MD
  • Review Date: 11/2021
  • Update Date: 03/14/2022