Preparing for Your Annual Physical Exam

Preparing for Your Annual Physical Exam

Your annual physical exam shouldn’t be something to fear, dread or procrastinate. At Hoag, we make it easy for you to schedule an appointment, and want to help you make it an experience you can look forward to. You can give yourself the gift of health all year long by taking a few simple steps to prepare for your annual physical exam appointment:

Set an intention or goal for your discussion with your doctor

The day before your appointment, write-down or think about which areas of your health you would like to improve in the immediate future and year ahead. For example, it can be as simple as, “I want to have more energy to be able to keep up with my children,” or “I want to reduce my stress and enhance my productivity at work.” This information can help your doctor understand what matters to you, and assist in the creation of a personal action plan.

Consider what’s changed with your health since your last annual exam

Annual physical exams are an excellent opportunity for you to update your doctor on how you’re doing and feeling (physically and mentally), especially if you’ve noticed any changes since your last doctor’s visit. Increasing your awareness of how your health has evolved can help you have a meaningful conversation with your Primary Care Physician. For example, do you notice a lump that wasn’t there before; does your heart beat irregularly when doing a particular activity; has a mole changed in color and size; or, did you recently learn about a family history of cancer? This is all helpful information that the doctor can use to help determine if any new or additional lab work may be necessary, and may refer you to a specialist.

Create a list of current medications and supplements 

You should be ready to review a list of medications you are on or have stopped taking (including supplements) with your doctor during your annual physical exam. You can also prepare to share with your doctor if you feel any new symptoms or reactions to your medication. This is a proactive step you can take that may impact your doctor’s decision to adjust any prescriptions, recommend new medication or therapies, or provide updated medical advice for you to consider.

Whether you’re in our Executive Health program; or, if you are a member of Hoag Concierge Medicine or Hoag Prime, we are here to support your path to wellness. Remember, annual physical exams aren’t designed for people who are feeling sick or have had a major shift in their health– it’s an important preventive measure everyone should take to maintain optimal health. If you have questions about when you’re due for an annual physical exam, or are ready to schedule an appointment please contact your Hoag provider today.