The new year is a time for new beginnings, fresh starts, and healthy habits. So how do you begin charting a path to a healthier you in 2020? Any rigorous diet or exercise program is going to suggest that you meet with your provider before making any drastic changes to your wellness routine. To make things easy, we put together a checklist of everything you need for getting your health in check in 2020!
Health & Wellness Checklist
- Sign up for the Patient Portal and make your first appointment.
- When you come to your first appointment bring a valid government ID along with your insurance information.
- Bring a list of your current medications (both prescription and over the counter) and any allergies you may have.
- Share your family medical history. Don’t leave anything out! Allow your provider to determine what is relevant and what is not.
- Know what’s included in your wellness physical in advance.
- Ask about high blood pressure and what your personal risk factors are.
- Do you have issues with acid reflux or GERD? Speak with your provider about your options.
- Have your thyroid checked. Many people are unaware of the symptoms associated with thyroid conditions.
- What’s your BMI? What does that mean for your overall health?
- Ask questions about your blood work and urinalysis. Some patients don’t know the reasons these tests are performed. Ask your provider to explain them to you (and the results) so you can learn more about your health.
A curious patient is a healthy patient.
Don’t forget to ask the right questions. When you ask plenty of questions, your provider can help you find the best solutions and get to know you better as a patient. Strengthen your patient-provider relationship by asking some of these questions.
What preventive care services are right for me?
By showing your interest in age-appropriate tests and issues you might see on the horizon, you can discuss the right time to schedule preventative procedures such as a mammogram or getting a shingles vaccine.
Which internet resources can I trust for medical information?
Anyone with a blog can give out information and advice on medical issues, but which online resources does your doctor trust? The last thing you want to do is Google your symptoms and be misled. Accurate and reliable information is the most important thing.
How does my family history affect my risk for certain conditions?
It’s important to discuss family medical history. If any relatives–even more distant ones–have heart disease, an autoimmune disease, or some types of cancer, you could be at higher risk. Keep the conversation ongoing.
Why are you prescribing this medication?
When you ask why they’re being given a certain medication, it’s an opportunity to have an open conversation about treatment. When you understand what you’re taking and why you’re taking it, it empowers you as a patient to be in control of ongoing medical issues and recovery from temporary illnesses.
How could high blood pressure affect my health down the road?
If you’re diagnosed with hypertension, education is the key. There are so many long-term effects that are “invisible.” So getting all the information from your provider on what you can do proactively and with the assistance of certain medications can help you make better decisions in your everyday life.
How does sleep impact my health?
Getting a good night’s sleep doesn’t just improve your mood the next day. It improves your overall health. If you’re having trouble sleeping, let your provider know! They might have some simple suggestions that can improve your health long-term and give you more energy day-to-day as a result.
What do you do for your personal wellness?
It is most likely that your provider knows the struggles of trying to balance your health, family, work, and all the other things. Ask them what they do for personal wellness! Many times the replies and suggestions are simple and manageable–more so than tips we get from friends or obsessive diets and workout routines we see on the internet. Take the tips from someone who knows how little changes can make a big impact.
Does my child really need an antibiotic for this?
Parents will often bring their child into the clinic expecting a provider to write a prescription for an antibiotic, even though it’s not necessary and will not cure a cold. When you ask an open-ended question such as this one, you can work with your provider to discuss the pros and cons of taking an antibiotic and decide together what is best.
My real fear is X – how concerned should I be?
Being upfront about your fears can help your physician determine which is ones you should pay attention to and which is ones to dismiss. At the end of the day, you know your body better than anyone. By sharing your thoughts, aches, pains, and concerns, you’re giving your provider additional information to make a more educated decision.
When should I come to see you again?
Clinic visits shouldn’t be limited to the times you’re sick. Well visits can provide a healthy baseline and help you and your provider make the best choices for you!