Seeing your primary care physician (PCP) regularly is the best thing you can do for your health. Routine checkups are the most important part of preventive medicine, or healthcare aimed at preventing disease before it starts. This means you should see your primary care doctor on a regular basis (once a year or more), even if you feel healthy.
It can be intimidating to visit a healthcare provider, but they are there to help. Keep reading to find out what happens during a checkup so you can feel prepared the next time you have one.
1. They Check Your Vitals
When you arrive for your appointment, the doctor or nurse will usually check your vitals. “Vitals” or “vital signs” refer to basic and necessary functions your body performs, like your heart pumping blood. Common vital signs and measurements taken at the beginning of your appointment may include:
- Body temperature
- Blood pressure
- Pulse/heart rate
This information helps your PCP determine if you are at risk for any health issues or if there has been a change since your last visit.
2. Your PCP will Discuss Your Medical History
Your doctor will ask questions about the following:
- Your current health
- Any medications you take
- Your family history of illnesses or conditions
Your answers will help them evaluate how healthy you are currently, lifestyle changes you may need to make to be healthier, or any diseases/conditions for which you’re at risk so warning signs can be monitored.
3. They Perform Different Tests
Your doctor may recommend you get tested for high cholesterol, diabetes, or other health concerns. They might also order a series of blood tests to check the levels of different substances in your body.
Some patients have specific reasons for scheduling checkups with their primary care physicians. For example, they may have an acute injury or a chronic disease that requires management. Your doctor will ask questions about your condition and perform tests to evaluate your progress.
4. Your PCP Will Give Health Advice and Recommend Treatments
Your primary care physician is an excellent resource regarding health advice. They can provide information on lifestyle changes to help you maintain or improve overall wellness.
They may also refer you to a specialist or a mental health professional if they suspect depression or anxiety.
If you have any specific conditions, this is where your doctor recommends a treatment plan. This program will consider the following:
- Your injury or disease and its severity and symptoms
- Your current health status
- How the condition affects your daily life
- Your preferences and goals
You can always ask your doctor about any questions you may have. They will welcome your questions and help you understand your situation and how to improve it.
5. They Promote Disease Prevention
Checkups are an excellent opportunity for your doctor to discuss preventive care. That includes methods that can help reduce risk factors for disease, such as:
Screening tests are essential for monitoring your health. Your doctor can recommend what you need by looking at your age and risk factors. Then, they may refer you for screenings with a specialist, such as a cholesterol screening with a cardiologist or a cervical cancer screening performed by a gynecologist.
Your doctor may recommend a schedule of vaccinations to help protect you against illnesses. Some examples are the flu shot, pneumonia vaccine, and shingles vaccine.
Diet and Exercise
Eating healthy and staying active are simple and effective ways to stay healthy as you age. Your doctor can advise on healthy eating habits and an exercise plan tailored to your needs. For instance, if you have diabetes, they can work with you or recommend a nutritionist to help you find diabetes-friendly meals that can help you regulate your blood sugar.
While lifestyle changes can be the most difficult changes to make, they often have great health benefits and lower your risk for many of diseases and conditions. Lifestyle changes your PCP may recommend include:
- Quitting smoking
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Managing stress
- Getting adequate rest
Top Primary Care Physicians in the Bronx, NY
Overall, primary care physicians are essential to your healthcare team. They can monitor your general health, advise on healthy lifestyle changes, and alert you about potential problems. They can help you stay on top of your health and prevent severe illnesses with regular checkups. With enough preparation, these visits don’t have to be intimidating – they can be a great way to stay healthy.
If you are in search of a primary care physician, look no further than Dr. Newaz Hossain, a board-certified internal medicine doctor at Starling Diagnostics. Dr. Hossain has over 10 years of experience practicing medicine and cares deeply about the health and happiness of each one of his patients.
With our state-of-the-art equipment and facility, we can give you the care you deserve. Call our friendly staff at (718) 319-1610 to learn about our services. You can also book a visit Dr. Hossain for primary care or any of our specialists here.
We look forward to providing you the high quality care you deserve!