6 Better Questions to Ask Your Doctor
What You're Used to Asking: So, same time next year?
The Smarter Version: When do I actually need to see you again?
Here's why: You're accustomed to checking in with your doctor yearly, but annual exams aren't based on evidence of better outcomes, says Anne Chang, MD, an internist and the medical director of primary care for University of California San Francisco Women's Health. "If I have a patient who's in great health, I may tell them that they don't need to see me for two or three years unless something comes up." On the other hand, if you're having health issues, your doc may want to see you more frequently. Make sure you're leaving with specific marching orders on any changes or improvements they expect to see by your next appointment. Ask your doctor to write down instructions or, if your doctor's office uses electronic health records, ask them to input their directives into the system so you can access them at home as a reminder.