Good experience Health Lifestyle

12 Questions To Ask During Your Annual Physical Exam

Taking care of your health is an investment in your future. Get on the clinic schedule for your annual physical exam as an important step towards optimized health. This appointment is your opportunity to ask your doctor questions and create an actionable wellness plan. Keep the following questions for your doctor in mind as you prepare in the waiting room.

  1. Is this change normal?

Many changes in appearance and sensation are a natural part of aging and dealing with life’s potential stressors. You may find some changes concerning, however. If any developments interfere with living your life, ask your doctor for their opinion. Follow up your late-night internet search with a full exam and alleviate the worry of asking yourself do leukemia rashes itch or other such issues.

  1. Is it time for health screenings?

Typically, certain common health screenings are planned based on demographic factors. Your doctor may take your gender, age, underlying conditions, and lifestyle into account. Ask your doctor about early detection measures for cancers and diabetes. You may have a colonoscopy, bone density scan, or diagnostic imaging of your reproductive system.

  1. Is this test result concerning?

Reading your test results without a deep background of current medical knowledge can cause undue concern. Consult your primary physician about what your personal baseline should be. This can be helpful because labs can have different standards for normal margins. 

  1. Is this family health history notable?

Share your family medical history with your doctor. This can inform early health screening decisions and impact lifestyle guidance. Ask your doctor about a family history of heart disease or what can be done to manage genetic risk factors. Your doctor may refer you to a genetic counselor for a full review. 

  1. Are new immunizations necessary?  

Frequent travelers should pay special attention to immunizations. You may require new vaccinations or boosters before traveling internationally. Your doctor can help you to think about side effects and the timing of an immunization series.

  1. Are there any relevant travel advisories? 

Ask your doctor about health-related travel advisories before you visit destinations with less developed clean water and sanitation infrastructure. Your doctor can help you to make informed travel decisions and may advise you to pack items like mosquito nets, medicines, and a water bottle filter. This applies to avid hikers who may be preparing for an extended period in nature.  

  1. Would dietary supplements be beneficial? 

The popular guidance about dietary choices evolves frequently. You may have adopted a vegan or vegetarian diet since your last medical evaluation. Your doctor can order blood tests to check your important vitamin levels and may recommend a daily supplement. Ask your doctor about nutritional guidance based on your health goals, daily activity level, access to fresh foods, and any other challenges. 

  1. Is it safe to begin a new exercise plan?

Always consult your physician before you embark on a new exercise plan. If you are starting from a primarily sedentary state, your doctor may take an EKG and talk to you about your blood pressure. Pay attention to your joint health and ask your doctor about injury prevention. Your doctor may recommend a physical therapist or trainer to aid in building a strong and safe foundation.

  1. Do the current prescriptions need to be adjusted?  

Your annual physical exam is a good time to review your current prescriptions and discuss options for improving your care. Look at your medication list and discuss possible interactions. Renew your prescriptions and ask about pharmacies that deliver to your mailbox. 

  1. Can this problem be cured or managed? 

Work together to set realistic expectations about your health. Establish whether your goal is curative or supportive. 

  1. What can be done to prevent physical and mental illnesses?  

Ask about preventative measures and devise a wellness plan for getting in your best shape as you grow older. Talk honestly about any mental health concerns and how working with a therapist might help.

  1. When should the next appointment be on the calendar?  

Determine whether you are good to go for another year or when you may need to come back for additional medical attention.

Your primary doctor is a key member of your wellness team and you can work together to improve your health. 

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.