Updated 05 January 2018

5 tips to get the most out of your health checkups this year

Ticking off your annual checkups? Here's how to get the most out of your visits to doctors and specialists.

Did you make the resolution to get your annual checkups out of the way early this year? Good for you.

Regular checkups are important, no matter your age or gender. 

But it's important to make the most of those visits. Going to the doctor does not have to be a scary thing and preparing for an appointment doesn't have to be a burden.

Follow these tips to get the most out of your appointments:

1. Be honest

Do not lie to your doctor when he or she asks about your diet, exercise plan or alcohol use. Now is the time to be completely honest about your health habits. The results of your checkup may be less than desirable, but this might be a step in the right direction to a healthier lifestyle. 

doctor checking weight

2. Be prepared

Come up with a few important questions to ask the doctor. Make a list of any health concerns that have been troubling you over time and bring them up. Also consider your age and family health history. This information might be vital in making a diagnosis.

woman making a list

3. Be concise 

Describe any medical issue clearly and succinctly as the doctor may be on a very tight schedule. This will also keep you on topic. 

woman with doctor

4. Be direct

Share your feelings about the appointment with your doctor. Let him or her know if you're feeling rushed, worried or uncomfortable. Also ask the doctor about clear instructions for a new medication or treatment if you are unsure about anything.

woman at doctor

5. Be realistic

Accept that your doctor may not be able to answer every question immediately. Be prepared to be referred to a specialist for a persistent medical problem.

woman at doctor

Image credits: iStock