5 must-ask questions for your next checkup

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Got a checkup coming up? Don’t let your doctor do all the talking. Speak up – and ask these important questions to get the most out of your visit. If you don’t understand an answer, always ask him or her to clarify. Your doctor wants to be sure you leave the office knowing how to get – or stay – healthy.


Are there any vaccines I should get?

Vaccines aren’t just for kids. Many important vaccines are given in the adult years, including:

•  Influenza (flu)

•  Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis)

•  Shingles

•  Pneumococcal (Pneumovax or Prevnar 13)

•  Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)


The vaccines you need will depend on your age and health status. Your doctor is the best person to help you get fully protected from many diseases.


Do you have my most recent family history?

Tell your doctor if you have a family member with health conditions. This history helps you and your doctor think about what health conditions could affect you in the future. Catching problems early boosts your chances of successful treatment.


Am I due for any cancer or health screenings?

Your age, gender, family history, and current health all play a role in what tests you may need. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, depression, certain cancers, and diabetes are just a few of the conditions that can be found through preventive care.


What can I do to feel my best?

Whether it’s quitting smoking, weight loss, stress management, or other health tips, ask your doctor about your health concerns. Even if you’ve tried in the past to manage these issues, your doctor may have some fresh ideas or tips that could help. Or, if you’re feeling great and in excellent health, talk about ways you can maintain healthy habits in the months and years ahead.


When should I have my next doctor's visit?

Follow-up visits may be needed if you're managing certain health problems like diabetes or high blood pressure. Even if you don’t have health issues, regular checkups are important. Your doctor can tell you when you should come back for your next visit based on your age and any health concerns.


Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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