5 Questions to Ask Your Physician at an Annual Physical Exam

May 7, 2021

Clinical Contributors to this Story

Parneet Grewal, M.D. contributes to topics such as Family Medicine.

Getting an annual physical exam is an important step in staying healthy. It’s an opportunity to touch base with your primary care physician while you are healthy so you can talk about ways to stay that way.

Having an open conversation with your primary care physician is the best way to have a successful wellness exam. Before your appointment, take a moment to consider the different questions you have for your practitioner to ensure that you understand everything about the current state of your health.

Here are some questions you may want to think about asking your physician:

Am I due for any vaccinations?

Vaccines are critical to preventative medicine. Some even require boosters every few years to continue providing protection. You may also need a certain vaccine depending on your age, health history, job, and lifestyle. And, with the COVID-19 vaccine becoming available to more people, it’s a great time to talk to your PCP about it.

Are there any annual screenings I am due for?

There are various health screenings that every adult should complete, depending on age and gender. Screenings are medical tests that check for diseases and health conditions to help prevent more serious conditions from developing, or catching them before they become a problem for your health.

How can I get my test results?

Once you have completed any screenings, you may be anxious about accessing your results. Many doctors’ offices use an electronic medical records system (EMR) to keep patient health records, and these are often linked with patient portals. These portals allow patients to access test results quickly and easily.

For example, at Hackensack Meridian Health, patients can access test results through their MyChart account. “MyChart is one of the fastest ways for our patients to access their test results themselves. We can call our patients to discuss results as well, or to answer any questions they may have,” explains Parneet Grewal, M.D., primary care physician at Hackensack Meridian Medical Group – Piscataway. When looking for your test results, ask your PCP if a patient portal is available for you.

Do I need any changes to my prescriptions?

Physical exams are often a great time for you and your provider to re-evaluate any prescription medications you may be taking. Any changes in health status, habits, or lifestyle could impact your medication regimen.

Are there any lifestyle changes I should be making to improve my overall health?

Simple lifestyle changes can have a huge impact on a patient’s overall health, and talking to your physician can help you identify any changes that may be right for you.

“Physical exams are the perfect time for patients and physicians to catch up and go over any changes to their daily lives. Finding the right balance of exercise, diet, and other daily activities can help patients reach their wellness goals,” said Dr. Grewal.

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The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.