Making an appointment to see your primary care physician is the first step in taking control of your health. In order to get the most out of your visit, you have to build a relationship with your doctor, which includes filling them in on your health history and concerns. If you’re a millennial – meaning you were born between 1981 and 1996 – chances are, you don’t see a doctor regularly. That’s the case for as many as 50% of the millennials living in the U.S. today, according to a recent survey. When you’re young and healthy, it might be easy to rely on urgent cares and clinics for any health needs when you’re sick. Many individuals in their 30s today struggle with unchecked stress and insomnia -- which can accelerate aging and contribute to future health issues and complications. As you approach age 35, it’s important to take steps to keep yourself healthy – and prepare your body and life for the big 4-0. Building a strong relationship is important for your health because a doctor familiar with your personal history will be able to recognize changes down the line. The first step? Start by talking to them. Here are three ways to get the conversation started.
1) Bring up any changes in your health. When seeing a new doctor, they’ll ask you about your health history and this is the time to discuss anything out of the ordinary that’s happened with your health. Come to the appointment prepared with a list of any illnesses or symptoms that may help your doctor better understand your health.
2) Ask questions about recommended tests and procedures. Asking questions about tests and procedures can help you understand what is going on with your health. It also allows you the opportunity to choose whether or not you want the procedure, and can help avoid unnecessary testing or overtreatment.
3) Talk about different treatment options. After a doctor gives you a diagnosis they’ll offer multiple treatment options. Discussing treatment options like surgery or physical therapy can help your doctor find the best treatment for you as an individual. Having this discussion can also help lower your health care costs. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network members can find an in-network provider near to them by using the Find a Doctor tool.
Looking for more information on choosing a primary care provider? MIBluesPerspectives is ready to help:
- What Matters to You in a Doctor?
- Read This Before Choosing a Primary Care Physician
- The Young Adult's Guide to Doctor Visits
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