What to Prepare for Your Next Physical Exam
An Annual Physical visit can be more meaningful than just “routine” when you are prepared for it. To make it easy for you, I wrote this short article about what patients should or should not do before, and what you can expect during and after your appointment. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Consider scheduling your annual appointment.
DO: The foremost important thing is to fill out the form with your medical history, family history, current medications, allergies, and surgeries that you might have had. Medical history is pertinent to any medical problems you lived through. This gives me a sense of what to look out for and what sorts of tests I should order for you. Family history should be updated every year or as it changes - if you are not sure, call and talk to them. Some patients bring their previous lab test results and find it helpful as I review them with a naturopathic perspective. When sharing your personal health information with me, I encourage you to be honest and forthcoming.
DON’T: Some patients simply forget to mention chronic conditions, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, and thyroid issues, that are controlled and currently not an issue. But please mention it. You don’t need to bring all your medications or supplements (unless you really want me to take a look). A list with name, dosage and frequency and duration will be enough.
Physical Exam: consider wearing attire that is easy to remove and not constricting
Screening Exam and Test: During your visit, I may recommend and refer for additional screening such as colonoscopy, mammogram and/or alternatives, eye exams, skin cancer exams, STD screening, OB/GYN exams among others.
Blood Test: I may order a fasting blood test for you. Your blood draw will be at the test center on a future date; you won’t have to fast for the initial appointment. A standard blood test panel consists of blood cell analysis, electrolytes, biomarkers for liver and kidney functions, lipids-cholesterols, thyroid and nutrients markers. Depending on your medical history, additional tests may be ordered.
Follow-Up: At your follow-up appointment, you will be provided with your test results. We will discuss your results and construct your future health plan.