You know you should make an appointment to see your primary care doctor each year. But what, if anything, should you do to prepare for that visit?

Creating a list of questions for your doctor beforehand can maximize your time together.

In this video, Erika Hutz, DO, an internal medicine physician with Endeavor Health, runs through some questions patients should ask their doctor at their annual checkup.

  1. Do I have to be on all the medications I’m currently taking?
    This is the most important question a patient can ask, Dr. Hutz said. If you’re on medication, ask if you need to continue taking it or whether the dose should be changed. If you aren’t on medication, should you be? If you’re taking over-the-counter supplements, ask the doctor about those too.
  2. Can we clean up my problem list?
    Your problem list is basically your medical history. It can include injuries or illnesses, including when they were discovered and whether they were resolved. Making sure the list is up to date ensures your electronic medical record is accurate, as it will be seen by any clinicians that treat you down the road, including your primary care doctor, specialists and emergency care clinicians.
  3. How much exercise should I get?
    Whether you’re 18 or 95, you should be getting some form of regular exercise, said Dr. Hutz. Your primary care physician can help you create a personalized regimen that’s safe and will help you meet your goals.
  4. What kind of diet should I eat?
    Beyond ensuring you’re getting proper nutrition, your doctor can advise you on how to eat to meet goals such as weight loss or gaining muscle mass.
  5. What should I do to stay healthy?
    This question could address preventive care, such as screenings and vaccinations you’re due for.