Know what to ask at your annual health visit

During your annual health visit, it’s essential that your primary care provider knows you and your health needs. You should feel comfortable asking questions, and discussing concerns you have about your health and well-being.

While your provider will ask a number of questions during your visit, it’s good to be prepared to discuss issues at the top of your own list.

If you don’t have a list, here’s one to help you start

Use the following ideas as prompts, and add other concerns or questions you may have: 

  • Your general mood: have there been changes in your mood, especially if you’ve been feeling down?
  • Your energy level: has it stayed the same or changed?
  • Physical activity: does your health limit any of your regular activities?
  • Your body mass index (the number calculated from your height and weight, used to identify possible weight concerns): being overweight or underweight can have serious implications for your health.
  • Do you need a flu or pneumonia vaccine? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, recommends that everyone six months of age and older get a flu shot every year.
  • Do you need a screening test for breast, cervical, or colorectal cancer?
  • Are you at risk for medical conditions such as osteoporosis, diabetes, or high blood pressure?
  • What is your risk for falling? How can you prevent falls? Some ways to help you prevent a fall include: staying active and building balance; reviewing your medications with your doctor; having your vision checked every year; and making your home safer.
  • Urinary incontinence: did you know there are different types of incontinence, and many ways to control and treat incontinence?
  • Tobacco use and resources to quit: to get help, call 866-QUIT-4LIFE (866-784-8454) or visit QuitNow.net. When you call, say you’re a Providence Health Plan member. You can also visit ProvidenceHealthPlan.com/quitsmoking for other resources.

Print a copy of the list above and bring it with you during your next health visit. Or save the list to your phone for a quick reference.