When you have an appointment with your primary care doctor, especially for the very first time, you may not know what to ask. This is perfectly normal. It’s okay to feel anxious or nervous about meeting your primary care doctor, but you shouldn’t let that feeling prevent you from asking important questions. Remember, you’ll need to be honest with your doctor. Being honest is the only way your doctor will truly understand your health concerns, what ailments you might have, and how best to address them.
The questions you’ll want to ask your doctor will vary based on your current feelings and symptoms, but there are some basic questions that are essential to ask. Here are some of the most important questions to ask your primary care doctor.
Q: Am I Up to Date on Vaccinations?
Adults and children need different kinds of vaccines to keep them healthy and protect them from different health problems. For instance, you may need to be vaccinated against the flu, hepatitis, HPV, or even COVID-19. Your primary care doctor should be able to recommend the right vaccines for you depending on your lifestyle, health needs, age, and many other factors.
Q: What Wellness Tests Should I Have Done?
Again, the most appropriate wellness tests for you depend on factors such as your lifestyle, medical history, and more. Your doctor will evaluate these factors to determine the tests you need to keep you healthy or help you manage your health problems.
Q: When Should I Come Back?
Follow-up appointments are equally important as the initial appointment. These appointments allow your doctor to evaluate your response to vaccination, medication, treatment, and other medical procedures. So before leaving their office, it’s important that you know when you should return for your follow-up appointment.
Q: What Is a Good Exercise Routine for Me?
Regular exercise can significantly improve your health. However, not all kinds of exercises suit your health needs or fitness goals. Your doctor can help create customized exercise routines that suit your goals and lifestyle perfectly.
Q: Can You Help Me Work Out a Diet Plan?
Because your doctor knows your health issues and goals, they can also help create a customized diet plan. A doctor-recommended plan can help you reach your health goals faster because they understand your health concerns.
Q: Can You Further Explain These Test Results?
Test results can be difficult to interpret, but that’s not something you should be worried about. Instead, your doctor can help you understand what these results mean to your overall health.
Q: Should I Take/Change Medications?
When you meet your primary care doctor, they’ll most likely ask you about your medications. Discussing your medications with your doctor can help determine whether to continue or discontinue specific medications to achieve your health goals.
If you’re meeting your primary care doctor for the first time, you may have additional questions to ask them. These “what to ask your new doctor” questions can help THEM understand your health concerns and needs even better. Here are some good examples:
Q: What Insurance Do You Take?
Do not assume that your doctor takes your existing medical insurance. The last thing you want is to pay huge medical bills out of pocket because your doctor does not accept your current insurance.
Q: Will You Proactively Communicate With My Specialist(s)?
You want a doctor who’s actively involved in your health journey. Asking them this question is the best way to confirm that.
Q: Do You Offer a Patient Portal?
A patient portal can help you keep up with your health journey without visiting your doctor’s office every day. Check if your new doctor offers a patient portal and if so, find out how to access it. If possible, you can log in to the portal while at the doctor’s and have them explain what it entails.
Q: How Would You Describe Your Relationship With Your Patients?
You want a doctor who makes you feel comfortable opening up about your health goals or concerns. For this reason, it’s important to find out how they relate with their patients.
From wellness visits and health screenings, to annual physicals and allergy testing, the Center of Advanced Wellness provides comprehensive primary care services in Texas for adults and children. Each of our locations are staffed with nurse practitioners, nurses, doctors and more to also treat chronic and acute illnesses. If you have a concern regarding your health or the health of your children, reach out to your Center of Advanced Wellness primary care provider today.