Questions You Should Ask During Your Wellness Exam

Well Woman Exam, OBGYN, Pap Smear,

Having an annual wellness exam is one of the smartest things you can do for your health. Not only can it help identify health problems in their earliest stages, but it can also ensure you get the care you need at every stage of life, including getting the diagnostic tests and immunizations you need to avoid disease and maintain optimal health.

Even when you’re feeling well, going to the doctor can be a little nerve-wracking. After all, it’s not exactly part of your day-to-day routine. The best way to make sure you get the most from your once-a-year wellness visit is to ask questions — the right questions. Here are eight questions you should ask at your next physical exam.

How are my weight and blood pressure?

Weight and blood pressure have a huge impact on your health, and fluctuations in either or both of these measurements can indicate you might have or be at risk for a serious medical condition. Knowing your weight and blood pressure measurements can help you understand those risks, and it can also help you and your doctor design a plan to minimize them or avoid them entirely.

Do I need any vaccinations?

Pretty much everyone knows the importance of flu shots, but those aren’t the only vaccinations adults need. Even if you decide not to have vaccinations during your appointment, knowing which ones are available and recommended is an important part of playing an active role in your health and wellness.

When will I receive the results of my lab work?

Lab work can provide you with important information about your cholesterol and triglycerides, and depending on the tests your doctor orders, other important measurements as well. In turn, those results can identify diseases and risk factors and play a role in helping you and your doctor map out a course of preventive care. If your results are available during your exam, be sure to review them with your doctor and have them explained so you understand what they mean for your health.

Does my family history put me at risk for any serious issues?

Family history can provide critical information about your potential health risks, so be sure to provide your doctor with complete information for your records. Since some of those risks can become more prevalent as you get older, ask your doctor to review your family history during your appointment.

Am I due for any screenings?

The CDC and other health agencies recommend specific health screenings based on a patient’s age. That means as you get older, you might be due for one or more tests that can help your doctor obtain baseline measurements or even identify evolving risk factors or diseases. Asking about screenings every year ensures you receive the optimal tests for your age.

Should my prescriptions be changed?

If you take medication on a regular basis, your wellness exam is the time to ask about changes in your dose — or possibly switching to an entirely different medication or alternative treatment instead. Your doctor will look at your current prescription, your current exam and lab results, your preferences, and new treatments to make sure you’re receiving the best care for your needs. If a new medication is prescribed, ask about any precautions or side effects, like avoiding sun exposure or grapefruit juice, two common precautions with certain medicines.

Do you recommend any lifestyle changes?

Some things are no-brainers, like quitting smoking. But your doctor might have other recommendations as well, such as for improving your diet or even your sleep habits.

What should I do to maintain (or improve) my health?

Your doctor is a rich source of health-related information, so don't be shy about asking for recommendations that can help improve your health. One more tip: Bring a notepad or open a document on your phone and take notes so you don't forget anything once you get home.

Schedule your annual visit today

At Crossroads Family Medicine, we want all our patients to enjoy optimal health at every age. To schedule your annual wellness exam, contact the practice today.

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