We’ve come to that time of the year where we consciously or unconsciously make a review of the year, accomplishments and all, in as much as this is important, the appraisal of our health is even more important as it’s the major bedrock of our accomplishments.
This season should equally be a time to schedule an appointment with your doctor to appraise your health in order to asses all aspects of your health.
The annual well-check goes by many names — well-check, check-up, preventive care visit, annual physical — but it’s important no matter what you call it.
Instead of being focused on problems, like many other doctor visits, the well-check is focused on preventive care. It’s also an active part of our pursuit of personalized healthcare because it helps us focus on your specific health status and needs.
Here’s what to expect from an annual well-check.
1. Measure height and weight
These standard measurements provide a baseline and a way to monitor your health. For example, big changes in weight can indicate health problems.
2. Check vital signs
You know the routine — blood pressure and heart rate especially. These are important for everyone to monitor, but especially if you have a family history of heart disease.
3. Review personal health concerns
Is a new symptom bothering you? Have you noticed something you want to follow up about? This is your chance. Come prepared to ask questions.
4. Review medical care preferences
This is also your chance to review your preferences related to medical care.
5. Assess your social environment and how it affects your health
Are you around a lot of smoking? Is stress a major issue for you at work? What is your diet like? Knowing about these types of environmental factors can help your doctor know your risks — and help you reduce them.
6. Review your medication list
What are you currently taking, including supplements and over-the counter drugs? Knowing this information helps with future prescriptions and with avoiding any dangerous drug interactions.
7. Review family health history
Family history is such an important tool in personalized healthcare. Come prepared with information about your relatives, including what conditions they have or had, and if they are no longer living, how they died and at what age. The Surgeon General’s My Family Health Portrait website is one tool among many that can help.
8. Have an actual physical exam
Your doctor will evaluate each organ system. For certain age groups, this also may include a clinical breast exam and pelvic exam for women and a genital and prostate exam for men.
9. Get necessary tests and screenings
This may include blood tests, which are customized to evidence-based screening guidelines for your age group and sex. Be sure to follow up with your doctor’s office about results, too.
This list is not all-inclusive, of course. Depending on your health, your doctor may order additional tests or ask additional questions. Remember that an annual well-check is all about you — so it will be tailored to you, too.
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Credit: Cleveland ClinicLeave a reply →