Questions to Ask Your Doctor During a Physical

By Dr. Cedric Fernando

Dr. Cedric Fernando performs a variety of pre-employment evaluations in the Occupational Health Department at Unicoi County Memorial Hospital, including annual physicals. Annual physicals provide an excellent opportunity for patients to speak to their physicians about personal health topic. When you visit your physician for a physical, make sure to ask your physician about the following subjects in addition to other questions that come to mind.

Q: What should I expect at a physical?

Generally, physicals consist of the same gamut of tests: listening to the patient’s heart and lungs, taking weight and blood pressure, examining the abdominal area, and checking hearing. For occupational physicals, employers sometimes require extra tests, including blood and urine samples.

Q: What is my ideal healthy weight?

Your physician can inform you of your ideal weight based on your age, height, and other variables. Share your family health history with your physician, as this will help him to put together a regimen of tips to help you reach your ideal weight.

Q: Is my blood pressure normal? If not, how can I regulate it?

Many patients do not understand the numbers that comprise blood pressures. Do not hesitate to ask your doctor to clarify your numbers and what they indicate regarding your health. Should your physician deem your blood pressure as too high, ask about foods you can eat and medications you can take to even it out. Also, take time to ask about your cholesterol.

Q: What female issues should women be concerned about?

Women typically ask many more questions during their physicals because their bodies require careful observation due to issues regarding pregnancy, regular periods, and so forth. For women, ask your doctor about whether you should use birth control, how often you should come in for breast cancer screenings, and other female issues.

About the Author: Dr. Cedric Fernando has served as the Medical Director at the Unicoi County Memorial Hospital Occupational Health Department since 1987. As Medical Director, Dr. Cedric Fernando oversees occupational health services, such as performing physicals, treating patients who file workers’ compensation claims, conducting workplace drug tests, and more.

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