One of the best things you can do in the doctor’s office is talk about how to avoid getting sick. A new HealthPartners Institute study shows there are three preventive health topics you can discuss with your doctor that can have the best health benefit at the best value. Think of it as a blueprint for your next visit.

Two of the most important conversations you and your doctor can have are about tobacco use. If you smoke, your doctor should advise you to quit and offer you support, including medications. Your doctor should also talk to your adolescent or teen about the dangers of smoking. This will hopefully help prevent them from starting.

The third is to make sure your children are up to date on their immunizations. This protects them from preventable diseases.

If these don’t apply to you, your doctor should be discussing other preventive services that may help you live a longer, healthier life. They might include:

  • Overuse or misuse of alcohol
  • Taking low-dose aspirin if you’re at high risk for heart disease
  • Getting screened for cervical or colorectal cancer
  • Being tested for chlamydia or gonorrhea
  • Checking your cholesterol and blood pressure

You should expect your doctor to discuss prevention with you. Be ready to ask what screenings, immunizations or services you should get. By making sure your doctor is talking to you about these topics, you’ll stay healthier for longer.

To talk to a doctor about preventive care, find a clinic near you: