doctor appointment calendar

You take your car to the mechanic for an annual inspection to be sure it’s running properly. So why not give your body the same kind of attention?

1.   Get yearly checkups. When you’re in good health, it’s easy to put off going to the doctor. But regular checkups can help you stay healthy. Scheduling your yearly exam is one New Year’s resolution you should keep.

A yearly exam is the perfect time to talk about illness prevention, healthy lifestyle choices, and any screenings. That information helps you and your primary care physician (PCP) create a plan to maintain or improve your health.

2.   Build a relationship with your PCP. There’s real value to being seen by someone who knows you and your health history — someone you trust to guide you through an illness or emergency. Having this kind of relationship with your doctor means peace of mind.

3.   Be honest. Never be afraid or embarrassed to tell your doctor something. What you don’t share could be important for your doctor to make an accurate diagnosis or prescribe the best treatment plan.

4.   Bring your “checklist.” How can you make the most of your doctor visit? Here are four things to do before you see your PCP:

  • Make a list of all medications you are taking. Include all prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and supplements that you currently take, how often you take them, and why.
  • Update your family history. Your family history can provide important clues about your risk for certain diseases, including diabetes, some cancers, and heart disease.
  • Ask about health screenings. Screenings can be important tools in preventing some illnesses and diseases. Get a list of recommended screenings and talk about them with your doctor.
  • Make a list of questions or health concerns. Asking questions and sharing your concerns about health issues helps your doctor improve your care. Jot down things you want to discuss so you don’t forget.

To find a UPMC primary care physician near you, call 1-800-533-UPMC, or request an appointment online.