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5 Things a Primary Care Doctor Should Do During Your First Visit

When seeing a new doctor, the physician shouldn’t be the only one raising questions. Dr. Ofer Shustik of Coordinated Health West Palm Beach Concierge Family Medicine says a patient’s first visit with a new primary care physician should be a complete “preventative assessment” to determine a standard of care. During first-time visits, make sure you’re asked about these five areas:

1. Individual medical history: How has your general health been throughout your life? Patterns can cause concern. For example, if you get bronchitis every year and have visited urgent care centers to treat it, that might cure you each time, but your doctor should look at why you’re getting bronchitis every year in the first place.

2. Family history: Some diseases run in families, so it’s important to know the medical history of a patient’s family in order to assess a patient’s likelihood for developing certain conditions. With preventative care, the risk can be lessened.

3. Past surgical and disease history: Is there anything specific your doctor needs to be concerned about based on past experiences? Is there a syndrome of disease, or just one problem? For example, diabetes often causes other related issues, such as heart disease and neuropathy, and this syndrome needs to be addressed holistically.

4. Medications and immunizations: All the over-the-counter and prescription medications, including vitamins and supplements, need to be reviewed to ensure they are not adversely interacting and whether better options are available. It’s also important to make sure the patient is up-to-date on all recommended immunizations.

5. Individualized risk: Once all of the patient’s background is reviewed, only then can your doctor determine whether there are unique areas of risk for the patient that need to be addressed and the best timeline for doing so.