5 Questions to Ask at Your Annual Physical

Jan 02, 2024
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Annual physical exams help you stay healthy, and the new year is a great time to schedule yours. To get the most from your exam, here are five questions to ask your provider.

The new year is when many of us make resolutions, and they often include a recommitment to leading a healthier life. Scheduling an annual physical is a great way to start. 

Your physical exam with the team at I & B Medical Associates is an opportunity to ask questions, discuss concerns, and learn all you can about your health and how you can make it better. Here are five questions to ask at your next exam.

1. How is my health overall?

Ask about your general health and how it compares with previous years. At each annual exam, we create a record of your health. Comparing data year to year enables us to spot subtle changes or trends that may need monitoring or further evaluation. 

Your physical is also a good time to ask about your vital signs, including blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and heart rate. Ask your doctor to explain what your numbers mean and discuss any changes you might want to make to improve your health.

2. Am I taking the right medicines?

About 70% of American adults take at least one prescription medicine on a regular basis to manage a chronic medical issue like heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Many people take several medicines to manage multiple health issues. 

Because your health can change significantly from one year to the next, ask your doctor if the medicines you’re taking — and the doses you’re using — are still right for your needs.

During your visit, let your doctor know about all the medicines you take, including vitamins and supplements, and ask about alternative options that could help you reduce the number of medicines you take or lower their doses.

3. What immunizations should I have?

Many people think immunizations only happen during childhood, but that’s not true. The flu shot is an example of a vaccine you need throughout adulthood.

Some vaccines need boosters during adulthood (like tetanus vaccines), while others are recommended only for older adults (like shingles and pneumonia vaccines). 

During your exam, ask your provider if you’re up to date on vaccines that can help ward off serious illnesses. You might need additional vaccines based on your age, risk factors, or travel plans. The CDC recommends vaccines at different ages and based on specific risk factors.

4. What medical screenings do I need?

Your health needs change as you get older, and your risks of illness and disease change too. Screening tests play key roles in helping you stay healthy. 

Mammograms, colonoscopies, pelvic exams, prostate exams, blood tests, and other medical screenings can spot problems early, when treatment tends to be simplest and most effective. Ask which screenings you should have based on age and other risk factors.

5. What can I do to improve my health?

Staying healthy is a team effort that involves you and your health care providers. Ask your doctor what healthy changes you should make to reduce your risk factors for disease and help you enjoy optimal health over the next year and beyond. 

Depending on your needs, we may recommend changes to your diet, physical activity, or sleep habits or advise you on ways to reduce stress.

Start your year with a physical exam

An annual physical is one of the best things you can do to stay healthy, especially as you get older. A new year is a great time to start. To schedule your physical, call 786-321-2399 or book an appointment online today at I & B Medical Associates in Miami, Florida.