A routine physical exam is important for your long-term health as it gives you the opportunity to examine your overall wellness and evaluate behaviors that impact it. Once a year, you should prepare to give your provider any health updates and undergo a series of simple tests at your appointment.
As a concierge member of Jeffrey H. Graf, MD, of New York City, annual physicals are an important part of your plan. During these yearly appointments, you may bring up any current health concerns as well as questions about the future of your health. Dr. Graf offers tailored advice and can recommend the services you need most.
Not sure you’ll remember what to say or which info to keep handy? Here’s a short list of topics you can bring up during your next physical exam.
1. Any new or unusual symptoms
A physical exam may be the only time you speak with your doctor in a year. Whether or not this is the case, be sure to remind yourself to bring up any ongoing symptoms or possible signs of medical concerns that you’ve noticed since your last visit.
Even if a symptom or change in function seems minor, it may be important for Dr. Graf to know about it. He'll know how to go about evaluating these new symptoms, and will recommend diagnostic tests if he feels they are necessary.
2. Your habits and diet
Whether or not you experience any challenges with your weight, Dr. Graf urges you to provide honest information about your eating habits, exercise habits, and behaviors like smoking or drinking. Factors like these have strong influences over your health in a number of ways, impacting your metabolism, sleep, weight, cardiovascular health, and blood sugar.
Dr. Graf offers suggestions for improvements you can make to your routine that may help you manage your health and avoid long-term future issues. Curbing certain behaviors, like a diet full of sugar and fat, can even reverse certain health conditions or help you manage them. For example, a diagnosis of prediabetes is an opportunity to examine and alter your habits so you can avoid developing Type 2 diabetes.
3. Cardiovascular health
Your cardiovascular health is a cornerstone of your overall health. The function of your heart and blood vessels ensures that every other organ and tissue in your body gets the oxygenated blood supply it needs.
Heart and blood vessel conditions include:
Dr. Graf goes over your risk factors for these conditions and measures your vital signs, including your heart rate and blood pressure. These measurements and other tests Dr. Graf might recommend provide him with valuable information about your heart function that he considers along with your heart-healthy, or not-so-heart-healthy, lifestyle factors.
4. Your family medical history
If you’re familiar with your family members’ health, this information is valuable for your primary health care. If certain conditions run in your family, for example, you could need screening tests for them as part of preventive care. They also give Dr. Graf a deeper understanding of your personal health risks.
5. Your medications and supplements
It’s always good to keep your medical provider up to date on the medications and supplements you take, including doses and how often you take them. During your physical, Dr. Graf checks in with you about each medication you’re on to make sure they’re giving you the benefits you need.
Side effects are of concern, too. Even if you don’t immediately link unusual symptoms to medications, they may be the underlying cause. Some medications can interfere with each other, so your doctor should know which medications you’re already taking before prescribing any new pharmaceuticals.
Is it nearing time for your annual physical? Contact our office with a phone call to book your appointment.