You want your healthcare services to work for you, and your primary care physician is a great resource to make sure your wellness is on track. This is especially true during your routine annual physicals! If you want to make the most out of your annual physical exam, here are a few questions to ask your doctor:
1. What preventative care do I need at my age?
From childhood into late adulthood, there are standard tests, screenings, immunizations, and other preventative care measures designed to help you prevent future illness. Talk to your doctor about what is recommended for your age to minimize your risk for diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, and to ensure you are taking all preventative measures to help you stay healthy and well at any age.
2. Do I need all of my medications?
No matter how many prescriptions you’ve been prescribed, it’s a good idea to check in regularly to make sure you still need all of them, and if so, ask your doctor to check your current dose. Sometimes you may be taking medications with high-risk side effects or prescriptions that are still being auto-filled for a resolved condition or symptom.
3. Are my markers average compared to my peers?
Once you have results from your vitals, blood tests, and other screenings, make sure you know how you stack up. Are your numbers within the healthy range for your age? Are you in below-average, average, or above-average overall health?
4. Are my symptoms common and easily treated, or should I see a specialist?
Annual exams are a good opportunity to talk about any concerning health issues you may have. Make sure you’re totally open and honest about symptoms you’re experiencing and find out if you should be concerned about them or follow up with a specialist.
5. What are my next steps?
In order to be proactive about your health, ask your doctor what you can do after your visit to maximize your wellness. They will likely give you some lifestyle or diet recommendations, options for further testing, or suggest when you should book your next exam.