St. Joseph's General Hospital Health Care with Compassion  
Wait Times FAQs

Wait Times : Questions to Ask Your Doctor

It is important for you to make informed decision about your health care. Discussing your treatment options with your doctor is a key way to make sure you understand what to expect from your surgery, and what risks are involved. Here are some questions you may wish to ask your doctor before making a decision about your care

Questions for your family doctor or general practitioner

  • The urgency of your illness - patients with illnesses that are not considered life threatening may wait longer because a hospital's operating room time is prioritized for more serious cases.
  • Why do I need to see a specialist?
  • Why are you referring me to this particular specialist?
  • How long can I wait to see a specialist without it affecting my health?
  • If this specialist has a long wait list, is there another specialist or hospital that can provide the same service and quality sooner?
  • What should I do if my condition changes before seeing the specialist?

Questions for your specialist

  • What specifically will be done during the surgery?
  • How urgent and necessary is this surgery?
  • What are the risks of the surgery?
  • What are the risks of not getting the surgery?
  • How will this procedure affect my daily life?
  • How long is the recovery period?
  • What should I do if my condition changes while waiting for surgery?
  • What should I do if I need to reschedule my surgery or if I change my mind about the surgery?
  • What sort of care will I need at home after the surgery?
  • How should I prepare for this procedure?
  • What should I do to make sure there are no delays once I arrive at the hospital?