Your Guide to Getting the Most Out of Your Medical Checkup


A medical checkup is a yearly appointment with your doctor to assess your physical and mental health and update your vaccinations. It’s an opportunity to ask questions, voice concerns, and get guidance on how to live your best life. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of your next medical checkup.

Dr Philip Baldeo suggests that everyone should have an annual medical checkup. “It’s a good way to stay on top of your health, identify any potential problems early, and make sure you’re up-to-date on vaccinations,” he says.

If you’re healthy and don’t have any pressing concerns, your checkup will likely be brief. But if you have questions or are experiencing symptoms, it’s important to communicate that to your doctor so they can take the time to address those issues.

What you need to know to make the most of your next medical checkup.

Before Your Appointment:

1. Make a list of questions and concerns.

2. Request copies of your lab results, immunization records, and radiology films in advance.

3. Update your contact information and list of medications.

4. Choose someone to accompany you, if desired.

5. Arrange for transportation and child care, if needed.

6. Eat a light meal or snack before your appointment, so you don’t feel faint during blood tests.

7. Wear comfortable clothing that allows easy access to your arms, legs, and waistline.

8. Write down the names of all over-the-counter and prescription drugs you take, as well as any vitamins, supplements, or other natural remedies. Include how much you take and how often you take them.

9. Bring along a list of your allergies, if any.

10. Take note of any changes in your health since your last appointments, such as weight loss or gain, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, new moles or other skin changes, etc.

11 Make sure you have your insurance card and photo ID with you when you go to your appointment.

12 Consider taking notes during your visit or ask if you can record the conversation so you can review it later.

At Your Appointment:

1. Check in with the receptionist and update any information that has changed since you made your appointment.

2 If you brought someone with you, introduce them to the doctor and explain why their input is valuable to you.

3 The nurse will likely take your height, weight, blood pressure, temperature, and pulse.

4 During the exam itself, be honest about any symptoms or changes in your health that you’ve noticed since last year.

5 Be sure to ask about anything on your mind—no question is too small or silly.

6 If there are any tests or procedures recommended during your visits—such as immunizations or screenings—be sure to ask about their purpose and risk factors.

After Your Visit:                   

  1. Follow up on any tests or referrals recommended by your doctor within the timeframe they specified.
  2. Keep track of changes in your health so you can report them at future appointments.
  3. Update any information that has changed since your last visits—such as new medications or allergies—so it will be accurate for next time. 


A medical checkup is an important annual appointment where you can proactively assess your physical and mental health and discuss any concerns with a qualified professional. By preparing ahead of time and knowing what to expect during your visit, you can make sure you get the most out of this valuable yearly appointment!

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