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3 Things to Ask at Your Primary Care Visit

People ask me medical questions. And I like questions.  As a doctor, I realize people in my professional and personal life don’t just come to me for my winning personality and witty repartee. I’ve been to medical school, and sometimes it’s nice to know someone in the medical field as a go-to for questions about health, wellness, medical trends and updates, and even the occasional old-fashioned doctor humor.

Let me rephrase my statement: welcome questions. After all, I didn’t go through years of medical education and training to keep valuable knowledge to myself. Ask my colleagues at Colorado HealthOP – my office door is always open.

A stethoscope isn’t the only thing your doctor is listening to.

No doctor worth his/her stethoscope should try and keep their medical knowledge to themselves. Doctors want to share every relevant health tidbit they can.

The goal is to help you, our patient, make informed choices to get and stay healthier.

We want to help you live a life that can be more fulfilling, more vital, and just plain feel better. While some doctors don’t want to answer medical questions at the grocery store or basketball game, many don’t mind. And you can expect to get your questions answered at your next primary care visit.

While our doctor brains may be busting with medical knowledge, we don’t necessarily know everything about you yet. We need our patients to meet us halfway. When a patient comes in with a list of questions, the chances that we can help that patient live healthier and better instantly go up. That’s why, as a doctor, I love it when you come to see me with questions that I can help you answer. My patient shouldn’t show up expecting to be the only one poked and prodded; after I come at you with a thermometer and blood pressure cuff, I hope you come at me with questions about how those things help you live healthier.

So here is a short list of questions to get you started. It is not all the questions you may have, but if you are having trouble coming up with some, start with these.

3 Things to Ask at Your Next Primary Care Visit

  • Are my immunizations up to date? What about my kids? Take in any records about shots you may have. And try to remember when your last tetanus shot was.
  • What are the disease prevention exams and tests I need? Do I need a pap-smear? A cholesterol test? A colonoscopy or fecal blood test? There are lots of these and you can help your primary care provider by asking for the ones that might be right for you.
  • What can I do to get or stay active? Your primary care provider can help you with a physical activity plan that is right for you.

While this list has some very basic questions you can ask, please don’t feel limited to three. Each patient has your own history, needs, concerns, living situations… your questions can and should be different. Whatever your questions are, this doctor – and every doctor – should have a door wide open to patient’s questions. Together, we’ll find the best answers.

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