I put off annual physicals during the pandemic and finally have a wellness visit scheduled. What should I make sure to ask my doctor?
A. You're certainly not alone in postponing your check-ups, since an estimated 32% of American adults delayed routine medical care during the pandemic. But it's wise to resume your annual visits, both to get a proper diagnosis for any health problems that have cropped up and to talk with your doctor about ways you can stay healthy.
Beyond telling your doctor about any changes you've noticed or responding to her questions during the exam, you should ask several of your own:
Am I due for any vaccinations? Your age, health history, occupation, and lifestyle all affect the types of vaccines you need. It may also be time for a booster shot.
Which health screenings or blood tests do I need? Mammogram, colonoscopy, and other screenings shouldn't be postponed for long, since early detection can mean the difference between a treatable or untreatable condition.
Do I need any changes to my prescriptions? Changes to your health or lifestyle can influence dosages. Some medications may no longer be necessary, or a new medication may be appropriate.
What lifestyle changes should I consider to improve my overall health? Blood pressure or weight changes may make it smart to tweak your diet or exercise patterns.
Image: © Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.