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Your New PCP

At your first appointment with your new doctor, plan to tell him or her about your family history, stressful factors in your life, illnesses you've had, and any personal health-related habits. This is very important information for your doctor to know and, since it will all be confidential, you can be completely open with him or her.

Questions for a routine health visit

HAP recommends that each member of the family schedule regular preventive-care visits - HAP calls them "health visits" - to help prevent future health problems. Here are some questions you may want to ask your doctor:

  • What will your doctor check for at each health visit?
  • What procedures will be performed routinely and why? Depending on the patient's age and medical condition, the visit could include anything from basic childhood immunizations, to a routine blood pressure or cholesterol check, to counseling for tobacco and alcohol use.
  • What kind of screening tests (such as a mammogram to screen for breast cancer) do you need, how often do you need them, and why? How and when will the test results be reported back to you?
  • What can you expect if the test detects a possible problem?

At the end of each health visit, you may want to ask one final question:

  • How does your health on this visit compare with previous visits? If the doctor mentions any changes, be sure to ask why these may have occurred and if anything should be done about them.

If this doctor is someone with whom you can communicate and that you believe you can work with not only when you are healthy but also when you are sick (possibly even very sick!), stick with him or her. That's how you build a trusting relationship.

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