Maybe you’ve gone to an appointment and your doctor asks if you have any questions — and your mind goes blank. Or perhaps you always remember that one thing you wanted to ask as you pull out of the parking lot.
We’ve gathered four questions you should ask your primary care provider on your next visit, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting again.
Why You Should Visit Your Primary Care Provider
Your primary care provider may be a doctor or a nurse practitioner. While most physicians are trained in one or two areas of medicine, primary care providers (PCPs) train in almost all of them. They can treat acute health problems like sinus infections and perform minor procedures such as draining an abscess. They can also make sure that you are staying healthy and if any lifestyle changes need to occur to keep you feeling whole.
Their training lets them treat you and your family during all the stages of life — from early childhood through the senior years. All along the way, they’ll care for you as a whole person: body, mind and spirit.
How Often Should You Visit Your Primary Care Provider?
It’s important to visit your PCP annually for a routine checkup to ensure you are healthy and to keep an eye on any chronic illnesses. As a PCP sees you over time, updates your records and learns about your health habits and history, personality and lifestyle, it’s easier to spot possible changes in your health.
You should also visit your PCP if you notice any changes in your health, such as new pain, discomfort or fatigue. Your PCP can run tests to determine any lifestyle changes or treatments you may need to feel whole again.
4 Questions To Ask Your Primary Care Provider
Whether you’re visiting your PCP for a checkup or due to a new health concern, you may get overwhelmed by all the information they provide. These questions can help you get the most out of your visit.
Am I Up-to-Date on All My Screening Tests?
If it’s been a while since you’ve had a checkup, you might want to ask your PCP if there are any screenings you need. A mammogram or colonoscopy are vital screenings to catch cancer or other diseases before they progress. In most cases, early diagnosis makes serious conditions easier to treat.
Your PCP may recommend several important preventive screenings based on your family history, gender, age and lifestyle.
Has Anything Changed in My Current Condition or Ongoing Treatments?
If you have a chronic condition or have been prescribed a long-term prescription, discuss with your doctor whether you’re still receiving the best treatment. If you feel that your current medications aren’t working anymore or if you’re experiencing side effects, bring that up as well so your PCP can make changes to your treatment plan.
Can We Discuss This New Symptom I’m Experiencing?
If you feel a new ache, trouble sleeping or any other change that won’t go away, it’s best to bring it up before it becomes serious. Your PCP can run tests and ask questions to see the root of the problem and make suggestions or create a treatment plan so you can feel whole again.
What Do I Need to Work on Before My Next Visit?
Your PCP’s office should be a safe space to talk openly and ask questions about how your lifestyle affects your health. Your PCP can set goals on what you should be doing between appointments, like increasing your exercise or eating healthier. Be proactive about your health between visits to prevent conditions from developing or worsening.
Whole-Person Care For Your and Your Family
At AdventHealth, we’re committed to caring for you and your loved ones' whole health. This means that at every visit, we will check in with your physical, mental and spiritual well-being — body, mind and spirit. Find a compassionate and skilled primary care provider and take the first step towards whole health today.