Receive the Summa Health eNewsletter for the latest health tips, advice and updates.
Thank you for subscribing to the Vitality eNewsletter.
We're sorry, there was an error while processing your request. Please try again.
Posted October 07, 2019 by Maria A Schiaffino, MD
Your primary care provider (PCP) should be your partner in ensuring you are your best and healthiest self, which is why it is so important to have a strong and communicative relationship with them. When you meet with your PCP for a checkup or an annual visit, the provider typically has a limited amount of time they can spend with you, so it’s important you go in prepared with a list of questions to get the most out of your appointment. Here are a few questions you should add to your list:
Depending on your age, gender, family history, lifestyle and overall health, the doctor may recommend any number of tests. In addition to the normal tests that are recommended for your age and gender, talk to your doctor to see if you need any screenings based on your family history or blood pressure stats.
If a doctor prescribes medication or treatment, ask any questions you may have about side effects, risks and benefits from the get-go. If you have been prescribed long term treatments, check in with your doctor about the latest trends and developments to make sure you are getting the best treatment available.
There are many health issues that can be improved through simple lifestyle changes. If you struggle with things like weight, blood pressure or cholesterol, your PCP may have tips on how to adjust your lifestyle to improve your health and achieve a better balance.
The doctor usually just looks at the numbers – weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. – and while that can tell them a lot, it’s not everything. If you’re having pain, exhaustion, stress or other physical or mental symptoms, tell your doctor. They may see something that you don’t, and at the very least, they can give you advice on what to do to feel better.
If you have a health condition or want to make change to your lifestyle, you may be tempted to turn to the internet for advice. Unfortunately, the internet is not always the most reliable or accurate source of information for health and wellness. Ask your doctor if they have a trusted resource to turn to, and of course, reach out to them before making any significant changes to your diet or lifestyle.
Ask the doctor to help you set goals on what you should be doing in between appointments. They may suggest making changes to lose weight, exercise more or quit smoking. Getting guidance on how to take proactive steps in between appointments can help you reduce the frequency of doctor visits and prevent certain conditions from developing or getting worse.
Choosing and building a relationship with your PCP is an important step towards a truly healthy life. At Summa Health, we have 21 convenient locations, each with many providers to choose from so you can find the perfect match for your next primary care provider – visit us or call 800.237.8662 to book an appointment today.