If you’ve ever put off going to the doctor, you’re not alone. Many people tend to see a doctor for a checkup only when serious symptoms start showing. Taking the time to schedule an appointment and visit the doctor’s office when you’re feeling perfectly fine just seems counterintuitive when you can look up your symptoms online, right?
However, there’s value in an annual wellness exam that Dr. Google can’t match. Seeing your doctor for a wellness checkup helps you correct unhealthy habits, enables you to manage chronic conditions better, and puts you on the path to a healthier and longer life.
Why Should You Get an Annual Wellness Exam?
Here’s why getting your wellness exam yearly allows you to take greater control of your health and eventually improve your quality of life.
1. Ask Your Doctor Anything: A wellness exam is perfect for having an uninterrupted discussion with your doctor. Have you observed any new health issues recently? Noticed any lumps in your body? How about your eating or sleeping habits—have they changed as of late? You should be able to freely raise these concerns with your doctor during your wellness exam. Moreover, you can also inquire about any health issues that you may face due to certain factors, such as a new job, weight gain, or a change in your living situation.
2. Update Your Health Records: Your personal health record, which includes your family’s health history, will be updated to take into account any changes since your last visit and the results of your screening tests. Your doctor may also update your list of current medical providers. This will allow your doctor to make more informed decisions about changes to your treatment plan and recommendations to undergo further diagnostic exams or screenings, if needed.
3. Refer You to the Right Specialist or Ask for Further Testing: During your wellness exam, your doctor may detect certain changes that could indicate an underlying health condition or potential chronic illness in its early stages. They may also screen you for possible cognitive issues. Depending on their assessment, your doctor can refer you to a specialist or ask you to take additional tests. Men might be asked to go through a PSA blood test while women might need a pelvic exam, pap smear, or a mammogram, for example.
4. Correct Unhealthy Habits: At its core, a wellness exam is designed to offer preventive health services. In addition to data from your physical evaluation and medical history, your provider will also evaluate your lifestyle choices. They may ask questions like:
5. Develop a Personal Wellness Plan: After a thorough health risk assessment and armed with the information from your tests, your doctor can now paint a clearer picture of how you can realistically achieve your wellness goals. This also takes into account the changes that recently occurred in your life and the plans you have for the future. Your personal wellness plan may outline lifestyle recommendations and include a list of tests and preventive services you may need.
6. Learn to Manage Chronic Conditions: During a wellness visit, your doctor can also teach you how to better manage chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension. Disease management aims to improve your quality of life through your doctor’s guidance, medication adjustments, and treatment recommendations.
Annual wellness exams are an excellent way to ensure that you are in good health. Make sure to follow your wellness plan and contact your doctor if you have any questions.
Article By: Star Medical Associates