How to Get the Most Out of Your Annual Exam
Whether you dread or look forward to your health report card and check-up, if this is the one time you see your doctor each year, try to make the most of it! Rather than closing your eyes tight and holding your breath until it’s over, following are some tips to help you prepare to get the most out of your next annual exam.
- For starters, bring a list of any questions or issues that have cropped up since your last appointment (that way you won’t get distracted by the stirrups).
- If you are concerned about anything, bring it up right away so that you have plenty of time to address the topic.
- Don’t be hesitant to be honest and open with your doctor about anything and everything you’re concerned about – there is no need to be squeamish or embarrassed when it comes to your health. Your doctor isn’t there to judge you, she’s there to help—so you can feel comfortable talking about your sexual history, diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol and drug use.
- If you are hoping to become pregnant in the next year, discuss that as well – what lifestyle modifications will you need to make in the meantime?
- And if you receive any new prescriptions or need to schedule further tests, ask questions about them, so that you feel comfortable and confident in the direction you’re going.
- Finally, ask your doctor about the best way to follow up after the annual exam if you have lingering questions or concerns.
When you make the most of your face time with your doctor, then you can make the most of your health the other 364 days a year.