Don't Neglect Mammograms out of Fear

Be Forthright When Your Family Doctor Asks You About These Subjects

Visiting your family doctor for a checkup will include a physical examination of several areas of your body, as well as a discussion from which the doctor can get an idea of your overall health. If you're not used to speaking openly about personal details such as those related to your health, you might initially be surprised when your doctor asks you some questions in a direct manner. Don't be tempted to breeze through this part of the checkup by offering quick answers to these potentially complicated questions. Here are some subjects that your family doctor may approach.

Mental Health

While the hands-on part of the checkup will allow your family doctor to assess your physical health, he or she will need to ask a series of questions to get a picture of your current mental health. You may be asked whether you're often depressed or anxious, how happy you are in your career and in your relationship, and even whether you make spending time doing things you enjoy a priority. Depending on how you address these queries, the physician may respond with follow-up questions for you. The more honest you can be, the better an idea of your mental health the doctor will get.

Alcohol Intake

You shouldn't be surprised if your family doctor asks you how much alcohol you drink. You might initially feel embarrassed and be tempted to say that you're not a drinker. However, it's important to realize that your doctor knows that many patients consume alcohol. The key here is to honestly answer — perhaps say that you don't drink during the week but that you might have two or three beers on the weekend, or that you have a glass of wine each night. There's really no wrong answer here, but your doctor will use the information that you provide to get an understanding of whether your drinking is at a safe or an unsafe level.

Sexual Activity

From the teenage years onward, many patients will need to answer one or more questions about their sexual activity. This is another topic that you shouldn't shy away from discussing. Your doctor will want to know if you're practicing safe sex, as well as can serve as a valuable resource if you have any questions. This is especially true if you're in your late teenage years, still live at home, and aren't comfortable broaching this subject manner with your parents.

Contact a clinic like Rural Health Services Consortium Inc. if you need to see a primary care physician.