You may only see your primary care physician once a year \u2014 so you’ve got to make that time count.\nThe best way to do this is to show up prepared. Here are several important questions you should ask your doctor during your annual wellness visit. Bring a notepad and pen so you can jot down his or her responses.\nFor more information, or to find primary care doctors, visit www.UPMC.com\/PCP or call 1-855-676-UPMCPCP.\n\nQuestions to Ask Your Doctor During Your Checkup\n\n\nWhat screening tests do I need?\n\n\nYour doctor may recommend certain tests during an annual exam, such as those used to test your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.\n“But you may want to ask about the need for other risk-appropriate screening tests, including thyroid tests, mammograms (for women and men), and prostate exams (for men),” said Kristina Marie Rahnamay-Azar, DO, Franklin Park Family Practice-UPMC.\n\n\nHow’s my weight?\n\n\nYour doctor can tell you how your specific weight can affect your health and risk of disease. If you need to shed some pounds, he or she can also suggest healthy ways to do so.\n\n\nWhat should \u2014 and shouldn’t \u2014 I be eating?\n\n\nIf you struggle with your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, or another problem that can be partly managed through lifestyle approaches, ask your doctor what you should or could be doing. Be honest about your diet so you can get recommendations for healthier options.\n\n\nWhat do I need to know about this treatment?\n\n\nIf your doctor prescribes a medication or another type of treatment, it’s important to know what to expect. Your doctor can tell you why he or she is recommending the treatment and inform you about any side effects, risks, and benefits.\nIf you have questions about medications you’re already taking, make sure to ask about those as well.\n\n\nHow can I learn more about my health?\n\n\nThe lure of the Internet is strong, but searching for health information online can be fraught with misinformation. Don’t expect to diagnose or treat yourself based on your findings, but do ask your doctor if he or she recommends any specific resources, whether online or elsewhere.\n\n\nWhat should I do before my next visit?\n\n\nRather than seeing doctor appointments as isolated moments in time, try to view them as goal posts or milestones. Ask your doctor what you can work on before your next appointment, whether that means losing weight, keeping your cholesterol levels down, or exercising more. That way, you’ll have the right guidance on what you should be doing in the meantime.\n\n\nWhen do I need to see the doctor again?\n\n\nDon’t assume you need to wait a year or longer to see your doctor again. Ask if he or she recommends a follow-up visit.