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5 Reasons You Should See Your Doctor Every Year

Every few months, you bring your car in for maintenance to make sure it’s running in tip-top shape. So why don’t you take the same care with your own health?

Going to the doctor when you’re well, not just when your motor is sputtering, can help you stay healthy and avoid or delay the onset of diseases.

Here are the top five reasons why you should see your doctor each year:

  1. Establish baselines. Getting a routine physical will help establish a baseline that will aid you and your doctor in making future health care decisions. Further, having regular checkups can uncover changes in your health that should be addressed, from increases in your weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure to a suspicious growth that may need follow-up from a specialist.

  2. Discuss screenings. When it comes to your body, what you don’t know could in fact hurt you. The annual wellness exam is a good time to talk about what screenings might be right for you, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, colonoscopy, mammogram, or osteoporosis screening.

    The yearly checkup also is the perfect opportunity to make sure you are up-to-date with your vaccinations, such as for flu, pneumonia, and shingles.

  3. Set your health goals and work with your doctor to achieve them. As your personal care partner, your doctor plays an important role in helping you set and achieve your health goals. If you need to lose weight, how much should you try to lose, and by when? What should be my diet and exercise objectives each day? Similar to financial planning, setting personal health goals is an important part of planning for your future.

  4. Strengthen the relationship between you and your doctor. People who get along with their doctors are more likely to go see them, be honest with them, and listen to their advice.

    To get the most out of your annual exam, it’s important to talk openly with your doctor so that he or she can personalize your care. That means being just as up front about your mental health—Are you feeling stressed or depressed? Is everything OK at home?—as your physical well-being.

  5. Educate yourself. Use the annual exam to ask questions about your health, and learn more about your body and what you should be aware of. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to identify any possible warning signs in the future.

Note: If you are a Medicare recipient, you are entitled to an annual wellness exam at no cost. If you have commercial insurance, you are entitled to an annual exam every year or every other year, generally at no cost to you.

Need a primary care physician? Call 888-847-8823 to make an appointment with a doctor near you.

Updated August 19, 2020

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