General Question

marmoset's avatar

First doctor appointment in years -- what general tests should I have?

Asked by marmoset (1260points) September 13th, 2010

I now have health insurance after a many-year break without it. I’m about to have my first appt with my new primary care doctor.

What tests do you think I should ask for?

What kinds of research can I do beforehand to get the most out of my visit?

Docs I have already seen with my new insurance are a gyn (I got normal pap results and all negative STD results) and a dentist.

I’m healthy, young and about 30 lbs overweight (BMI in the high 20s). So tests I think I should have include cholesterol levels and blood sugar level. What else?

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16 Answers

sleepdoc's avatar

To be honest, there is a whole lot more one would need to know about you to know what should be done at your appointment. And most of it is probably not stuff you want to post on the internet.

wundayatta's avatar

Don’t doctors usually tell you what they recommend? I think the more important thing is the history. If they take a good time and get a very good history from you, that will be much more important than any tests they might order. If they do a good history, they will know what to do.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Um, your doctor decides what tests you need, not you. They’ll have you do what all their annual checkups do.

syz's avatar

Your doctor is the best source of information.

marmoset's avatar

Thank you. Does anyone have any thoughts about what kinds of research I could do beforehand to get the most out of my visit?

Seaofclouds's avatar

Your doctor will pick which tests to run based on your medical and family history. At the doctor’s office I work at, for new patients and annual physicals, we usually do an UA, CBC, CMP, Lipid Profile, and TSH ( just to give you an idea). Depending on you age and when your last pap was, they may want to do another.

If you aren’t very familiar with your family history, you may want to ask you family before your appointment.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@marmoset If there are any issues you’re having, you should schedule a separate appointment to deal with them. Other than that, there’s really no research you need to do; the doctor will explain everything.

Pandora's avatar

If you are in general good health they will just run a series of general lab work that will include what you already mentioned. Some may include a test to see if you are ok in your iron or vitamin levels. They may include your red cell count and white. If you smoke you may want to ask them to check your lungs.
If you drink a lot then you may want your liver check. If there is a family history or some sort, for cancer, or high blood pressure, heart failure, strokes, you would want to tell your doctor so they know what they may have to be on the look out for. Some of these things are quiet killers until it is too late to do anything for it. So if your doctor is aware he knows to moniter you for it. Maybe even rule some out for you by running some tests first.

gondwanalon's avatar

The test listed above should definitely be ordered by your doctor (Urine Analysis, Complete Blood Cell count, Complete Metabolic Panel, Lipid Profile, and Thyroid Stimulating Hormone). Be sure to report to your doctor appointment fasting (no food for 12 hours, only drink pure water) so that you can get your blood drawn at the at the clinic (That way you don’t have to come back fasting later for the bood draw). Also be prepared to give a urine specimen. This will save a lot of time.

Austinlad's avatar

Agree with everyone above, and would add to be sure to tell the doctor about ANYTHING that bothers you or has changed since your last checkup, no matter how trivial you may think it is. Tests are one thing, and the doctor will determine that—but how much information you give him is equally important, including accurate family history (that’s something you could research beforehand).

zenvelo's avatar

you don’t say your age. if you are over 45, ask about a sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy. That’s a pretty standard diagnostic tool. Alos, si this a new Dr. or one you have seen? Given changes in coverage, my internist last time just addressed my “current” issues, nopt a complete physical. Make sure you ask for a complete physical.

solomio's avatar

I agree with Austinlad you need to address any health concern you have to your new doctor. The tests you will be subjected to will be determined by your doctor, not you.
You also have to research your family history before you keep this appointment because you will have to answer a question sheet about your family history.
And, please, relax about this appointment. The first appointment with any doctor is a ‘get acquainted’ appointment for both of you.

augustlan's avatar

As far as being prepared, make 3 lists:

* All of your symptoms (if any) or health concerns

* Medications you currently take (along with dosage info) – Rx, OTC, herbal, and vitamins

* Your health history/family history

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

If you have any issues to discuss with your doctor, call the office and tell them you have x number of issues and could they please add some more time to your appointment. Offices schedule only what time is needed to complete the actual exam, so if you’re also having, say, sinus issues, you’ll set the doctor behind schedule if they don’t know you need more time.
You’ll need to sign the HIPAA privacy form, so they’ll need to make a copy of your drivers license. They’ll also need to make a copy of your insurance card, so make sure you bring both of those with you.
@augustlan is right, but they’ll have official forms for you to fill out with all that info, so only make those lists if you can’t remember all of it off the top of your head. Arrive about 20 minutes early so you have time to fill out all the forms.

john65pennington's avatar

You need a complete physical from head to toe. bloodwork included. my brother did not see a doctor for 20 years. once he did, he discovered he had diabetes, uncontrolled high blood pressure and a past mini-stroke. there is no excuse for a person not having a yearly physical. ask your doctor for the works. if you have a medical problem, its best to catch it early. stay healthy and have a yearly checkup.

JLeslie's avatar

As you already said Cholesterol and glucose are a good start.

Also:
CBC
Iron
TSH
Vitamin B12
Vitmain D

Remember you must be fasting for some of these tests.

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