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How do I ask a good question?

We’d love to help you get answers. To improve your chances of getting an answer, here are some tips:

Personal medical advice questions are off-topic here on Medical Sciences.

  • We care! And that is why Medical Sciences cannot give individualized medical advice or diagnosis for multiple important reasons! Such questions will be revised or closed.
  • Avoid including your symptoms, situation, or background – that crosses into individualized diagnosis and is not needed or even distracting for a generalised answer.
  • Asking whether someone has a certain medical condition is similarly off topic.

Focus in on a clear topic, be specific!

  • Ask yourself:
    • What is the medical topic at the root of my question?
    • What do I really want to know about it?
    • How can I phrase it to address the medical topic itself, rather than an individual situation?
  • Ask something that can be answered in a few paragraphs, not too broad. (You can ask additional questions separately!)
  • As a rule of thumb: If you ask a vague question, you’ll get a vague answer. But if you give us details and context – that is not from a personalised medical request but a result of your research effort on a question of general interest – we can try to provide a useful answer to you and everyone reading along.

Make it relevant to others

  • We like to help as many people at a time as we can!

  • Make it clear how your question is relevant to more people than just you, and more people will be interested in your question and willing to look into it.

Search, and research before posting a question

  • Have you thoroughly searched for an answer here on Medical Sciences or looked online in reputable sources before asking your question?

  • Sharing your research helps everyone. Tell us what you found and why it didn’t meet your needs. This demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to try to help yourself, it saves us from reiterating obvious answers, and above all, it helps you get a more specific and relevant answer!

  • If you are waiting for an answer and learned something new that is relevant, feel free to update your question with the new information you've found via editing it.

Keep an open mind

The answer to your question may not always be the one you wanted, but that doesn’t mean it is wrong. A conclusive answer isn’t always possible. When in doubt, ask people to cite their sources, or to explain how/where they learned something. Even if we don’t agree with you, or tell you exactly what you wanted to hear, remember: we’re trying to help.

Welcome to the Medical Sciences community!