19 Questions to Ask at Your Next Doctor's Appointment
Are you left with unanswered questions and worry you're not getting a full exam from your healthcare provider? Your doctors should welcome your input. These 19 questions and talking points can ensure your best visit yet.
Primary Care Physician Checklist
Be prepared for your next primary care physician checkup with this checklist:
Blood Pressure Ask what it is and what it should be.
Family History Discuss when you should be tested for diseases that have affected family members.
Blood tests Starting between ages 35 and 40, you should have your cholesterol and blood-sugar levels checked to screen for heart disease and diabetes. Ask ahead if you need to make preparations, such as fasting before the test.
Thyroid Function Women should have their thyroid tested every five years after menopause. You also should be tested if you have unexplained weight loss, irritability, irregular heart rate, insomnia or muscle weakness (all symptoms of an overactive thyroid), or fatigue, depression, weight gain, dry skin or trouble concentrating (all signs of an underactive thyroid).
Bone Mineral Density (BMD) You should have a BMD test at age 65 (sooner if you are postmenopausal and have risk factors: for instance, you're thin or small boned, or you smoke or have a family history).
Prescriptions Tell your doctor about any other drugs, herbs or supplements you're taking.
Unusual Symptoms Describe anything abnormal—a rash, headaches, sadness, sudden weight gain or loss, fatigue.