We all know how important regular doctor appointments are to keeping our health in check, but aside from what they tell us about our conditions and treatments, there’s a lot of important information that can go over a patient’s head. Obviously, you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your healthcare. The following is a list of some of some of the things most doctors don’t tell you, but really should!

Don’t Blow Off Your Annual Check-ups

A lot of people, knowing that the feel completely fine, will go out of their way to avoid annual check-ups with their primary physician. Less finger-wagging, less diagnoses, less hassle. However, touching base with your doctor on an annual or at least bi-annual basis is extremely important if you want to keep your health in the best state possible. When your doctor takes your complete medical history, for example, it allows them to pick up on various subtle clues about possible impending illness, such as changes in your sleeping pattern, your energy levels or your bowel movements. The relationship and open communication you’ll build with your doctor through these visits will become especially helpful if and when an illness does arrive. Check-ups don’t take long, so don’t blow them off!

Some Doctors Are More Competent Than Others

Unless you’re a doctor yourself, the title of “Doctor” before any name will usually generate an air of professionalism and trustworthiness around the person. That famous phrase “trust me, I’m a doctor” will usually ring true, but it can lead to utter catastrophe if you blindly follow everything you hear from your primary physician. They don’t let anyone graduate from med school, but there are certainly doctors out there who really shouldn’t be practicing. They can overlook a patient’s concerns and questions, rush through testing and diagnosis, and even commit serious instances of medical malpractice that can turn someone’s life upside down. Take a step back and think about the way your doctor works when you’re in their practice. If you feel that you’re not being listened to, that they’re not respecting your time, or seem uncertain about too many things, it may be time to start looking for another primary physician.

There Are No Stupid Questions

If you get a new diagnosis, prescribed a new medication, or receive a referral from your doctor, you need to make sure you’re free of any uncertainties before you leave the practice. There’s nothing stopping you from taking notes during your appointment, having someone do so for you, or asking your doctor to write things down. It’s pretty common that a diagnosis is unclear to the patient in question. However, your doctor should always be able to explain the various possibilities of what comes next, even if that means sitting around and waiting for some new development. Although doctors have to be extremely careful in their line of work, sometimes asking questions can point out a mistake in a prescription that they would have overlooked otherwise. This is obviously something you don’t want to let slip through the net!