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An annual checkup, also known as an annual exam or a yearly physical, is a visit to your primary care doctor to assess your overall health and well-being. This appointment gives you a chance to discuss any concerns or questions you have about your health, undergo a physical examination to identify any potential health concerns and receive preventive care recommendations to help you stay healthy.
Your annual checkup is an essential part of preventive health care. It helps detect potential health issues early on when they are more treatable and helps you and your primary care doctor to establish a baseline for your health, which can help inform future concerns. Annual checkups also allow your doctor to review your prescriptions and medications and ensure your recommended vaccines and boosters are up to date. As your partner in long-term health, primary care doctors at Inspira strive to form trusted relationships with all patients to offer personalized treatment and recommendations.
Your annual checkup will include a physical examination to evaluate your overall health. During this time, you can expect your doctor to measure important vital signs, including:
In addition to assessing your general appearance, your doctor may also perform tests to evaluate:
Depending on your age, condition and medical history, your doctor may conduct additional tests to help evaluate your overall health.
Although each appointment is unique and tailored to each patient’s individual needs, all annual checkups include a conversation about your health history and any recent changes or concerns, as well as a physical examination.
At the beginning of your appointment, your doctor will ask you about changes to your family health history or any concerns you have. They may also ask you about lifestyle factors that affect your health, like diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol use and stress management. Your doctor will also check your vaccination status and may offer recommendations for preventive care, including vaccines and boosters, screenings and other tests based on your age and risk factors.
After listening to your concerns and reviewing your medical history, your doctor will perform a physical examination to check for signs of potential health concerns. After your physical examination, your doctor may offer suggestions for healthy living and recommend treatment options for any issues you’re experiencing. They will also provide an after-visit summary that recaps your visit and gives you more information on your next steps, such as new medications, lab work, referrals to specialists and when you should return for your next visit.
Yes. A regular checkup is recommended even if you feel perfectly healthy. Primary care doctors are trained to identify and manage many health issues, including chronic diseases that do not always have obvious signs and symptoms. Since many conditions do not have noticeable symptoms in their early stages, regular checkups help with early detection, which allows for more treatment options.
Before your annual checkup, there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure you get the most out of your visit. Come prepared with your medical history, including new diagnoses, surgeries and other relevant health information. Be sure to include the results of any recent tests or screenings for your doctor to review. Also, write down your questions before your appointment so you remember to address all your concerns. Be prepared to tell your doctor which medications you’re taking, even if they’re over the counter. If you have additional health information, such as a symptom tracker or food log, bring it to your appointment for review.
You may need to fast before your appointment, depending on the specific tests your doctor performs during your exam. For example, if they plan on administering a blood glucose test, you may need to fast for several hours before your appointment. If fasting is necessary, your primary care office will give you detailed instructions before your visit.
The duration of an annual checkup can vary depending on your age, health status and the tests your primary care doctor performs. Generally, routine physical exams take anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour.
The material set forth in this site in no way seeks to diagnose or treat illness or to serve as a substitute for professional medical care. Please speak with your health care provider if you have a health concern or if you are considering adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines. For permission to reprint any portion of this website or to be removed from a notification list, please contact us at (856) 537-6772