If your resolutions have anything to do with improving your health, here’s a great tip: pick up the phone or go online and schedule your yearly physical with a primary care physician now! Many people wait until a cough or other issue presents to consult with their doctor, but preventative visits should be prioritized as a part of your health care routine. Your physical or annual exam, is covered by most insurance plans at no cost to you. Remember, prevention is key to long-term health, so get your appointment scheduled today.

Q: What should I expect during an annual check-up?

A: Each appointment will be unique and vary from doctor to doctor and patient to patient.  During this visit, look to connect with and cultivate your relationship with your doctor, who should be one of the most important members of your health care team. You may also expect lab tests, a medication review and a physical exam as well as cholesterol, A1C, and other screenings, depending on your age and insurance plan.

Q: Why should people go to the doctor if nothing seems to be wrong?

A:  This is a dedicated time to review your overall mental and physical health. Most importantly, this visit all about discussing your health history and goals. When caught early, many problems can be better managed or even completely avoided.

Q: What can individuals do to prepare for an annual check-up?

A: Be prepared to talk, ask questions, and discuss any nagging issues that may have crossed your mind over the last year. You may want to make a list of questions and current medications.  If you have received abnormal test results in the past, you may want to revisit and update your doctor on lifestyle changes or provide a status update. Finally, learn and be ready to discuss your family history. No health problem is too small or embarrassing to talk about with your doctor, so prepare to be open and honest for the sake of your health.

Q: What happens after my annual appointment?

A: After your visit, your doctor will make a record of what was discussed and provide guidance on needed lifestyle changes or preventative recommendations. When you leave, you may walk away with the following:

  • Tips on health goals and expectations
  • New prescriptions
  • Referrals
  • Follow-up appointment information

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