When it comes to things that people dread, an annual physical often tops the list. Not only is it nerve-wracking, but also intimidating lifestyle changes may be suggested.
However, skipping a physical is the last thing you want to do. After all, you owe it to yourself to take steps to protect and preserve your health.
But it’s important to think about preparing for this annual event. From making the appointment to following the doctor’s advice after your physical is completed, there are five steps to take to get the most out of the annual doctor visit.
- Plan ahead of time.
Going to the doctor can be nerve-wracking. As a result, it's easy to forget the important questions you need to ask. This is when planning is key.
According to U.S. News & World Report, it’s important to discern the reason for your visit ahead of time to help plan for your appointment.
Think about what results you hope for. Is it to check blood pressure? Update vaccinations? Or are you just looking for an overall snapshot of your health?
Experts say to plan the time spent with the physician. Long stories can lead to diminishing time on the clock. This is a mistake to avoid.
"I once had a patient tell me that something had started all the way back in 1926. And I said, 'This could take a long time. Are you sure you want to spend our visit telling a story?'" Howard Beckman, a clinical professor at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, tells U.S. News & World Report. "And he wanted to. I told him I was happy to listen, but that he would have to come back a second time for the rest of the visit."