Your doctor, or primary care provider (PCP), is your best resource for health advice. While it may be convenient to search for answers online or even on social media, remember, Google doesn’t have a medical degree. But your doctor does!
Unsure what to ask at your next annual health checkup? See where you fit in the two scenarios below and then check out what to ask at your health checkup for the top 5 questions to ask your doctor at your next visit.
SCENARIO A: It’s time for your regular health checkup. You’re feeling great! Do you really need to keep your appointment with your PCP?
SCENARIO B: It’s been years since your last checkup. You’ve had some changes in your health and would like to talk to someone. Can you still call your PCP to set up an appointment? What questions should you ask during your appointment?
Whether you identify more with Scenario A or B, the answer is the same.
YES! You should see your PCP regularly, even if you have no health concerns. There are still questions you should ask, and the answers you receive can help you continue to feel great. (Keep reading to find out more.)
YES! If you haven’t had a checkup recently, it’s okay! It’s never too late. The first step is to make an appointment and the second step is to ask the right questions.
During your appointment, it’s normal to not know what to ask or even to feel nervous about sharing personal information about your health. However, surveyed PCPs have indicated that the most rewarding part of their job is forming a relationship with the patient and affecting real change.
Use this helpful Checkup Checklist that includes five questions to ask your doctor to help you get and stay healthy.
1. This is how I’m feeling. Do these symptoms seem normal to you?
Tell your doctor how you’re feeling. Be honest. Ask them if what you’re feeling is normal. It’s their job to listen. The more you tell your doctor about your health, the better they can understand what’s “normal” for you and what’s not. This includes your mental health. Your doctor is here to help.
2. What screening tests do I need?
Your doctor may recommend certain screenings depending on factors including:
- family history
It’s important to keep your doctor up to date about any changes in your health or new illnesses or diseases in family members. When your doctor has a complete picture of your health and risk factors, he or she can schedule or perform the appropriate screenings (e.g. mammogram, prostate exam, or blood tests) to help keep you healthy.
Many of these screenings are covered at no-cost to Community First Members. Learn more about annual Health Screenings.
3. Am I at a healthy weight?
Sometimes, weight loss entails more than just diet and exercise. Your doctor has the tools needed to ensure there is nothing biologically standing in your way. Weight is a very personal topic that can stir up a lot of emotions, but you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re ready to lose weight, your doctor can be your biggest supporter.
4. Are there better treatment options available for my condition?
If you are taking medication for a condition like high blood pressure, diabetes, or depression, and you feel like your symptoms are not under control or you’re experiencing side effects, tell your doctor.
- Your dosage may need to be changed.
- A simple adjustment in your medication, taking it at a different time of day, or with or without food could help.
- There could be a new medication or treatment available that might work better for you.
- People respond differently to different medications. What works for someone else may not work as well for you.
- There are amazing new developments in the medical research community every day. Ask what’s out there!
5. What should I do before my next visit?
Ask your doctor when you should be seen next. And before your next appointment, ask what you can work on. Think of each appointment as a checkpoint. Update your doctor with your progress and in return, receive further guidance and care you need to refuel.
Download and print our checklist, What To Ask At Your Health Checkup, or pull it up on your phone while you’re waiting for your doctor to help remind you what questions to ask.