Make a Date With Your Doctor

Health Tips from UPMC Health Plan

Date book with doctor appointment noted.You take your car to the mechanic for an annual inspection to be sure it’s running properly. So why aren’t you giving your body the same kind of attention?

When you’re in good health, it’s easy to put off going to the doctor. But regular checkups can help you stay healthy, and avoid disease and disability. That’s why scheduling a physical is the one New Year’s resolution you should keep.

According to primary care physicians (PCPs) at UPMC Passavant, an annual exam is the perfect time to talk about illness prevention, healthy lifestyle choices, and any screenings. That information helps you and your doctor create a plan to maintain your health, or get you started on making changes to improve your health.

Building an ongoing relationship with a PCP also means peace of mind. PCPs at UPMC Passavant say there’s real value to being seen by someone who knows you and your health history — someone you trust to guide you through an illness or emergency.

Your Exam Checklist

How can you make the most of your annual exam? Here are four things to do before you see the doctor:

  1. Make a list of all medications you are taking
    Include all prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and supplements that you currently take, how often you take them, and why.
  2. Update your family history
    Your family history can provide important clues about your risk for certain diseases, including diabetes, some cancers, and heart disease.
  3. Ask about health screenings
    Screenings can be important tools in preventing some illnesses and diseases. Get a list of recommended screenings and talk about them with your doctor.
  4. Make a list of questions or health concerns
    Asking questions and sharing your concerns about health issues helps your doctor improve your care.

One final piece of advice: Be honest. Never be afraid or embarrassed to tell your doctor something.

What you don’t disclose could be important for your doctor to make an accurate diagnosis or prescribe the best treatment plan.

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