Wellness exams are the No. 1 reason why people visit their doctors, according to the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. These checkups are valuable for people of all ages, but you may have undiagnosed medical needs that make an annual wellness exam vital for proper care.
When it comes to your health, prevention is always a better option than treatment. Regular wellness exams at a nearby primary care clinic can help you avoid dangerous illnesses before they develop by following your doctor’s ongoing recommendations. Even chronic conditions can often be managed if symptoms are diagnosed and treated quickly enough. However, many patients find themselves asking, “What is a wellness exam?” If you are unsure about wellness exams and the role they play in your overall health, use the following information to begin a conversation with a doctor at a medical clinic near you.
What Is a wellness exam?
When it comes to wellness exams, one size does not fit all. Your exam will be slightly different from those of other patients because you have individual health needs and concerns. Your checkups will likely be supplemented with a variety of screenings and services that depend on your gender, age, ethnicity, family history, lifestyle, diet, weight, and other factors. There are, however, a few standard procedures you can expect during a wellness exam. According to Medicare.gov, many patients visit their doctors annually for:
• A review of family medical histories
• Updates to provider and prescription lists
• Measurements of height, weight, and blood pressure
• An examination to detect cognitive impairments
• Individualized health recommendations
• Scheduling of other preventative services
Why are wellness exams necessary?
Your health risks change over time, and wellness exams at a local primary care clinic give your doctor the best possible chances of treating many conditions that develop. For example, if you are a woman, your risks of certain cancers, such as cervical, breast, and colon cancers, increase at specific stages of your life. If you are a man, your wellness exams will likely include prostate screenings and colonoscopies, depending on your age. Failing to receive these services can lead to the late detection of life-threatening illnesses, which can have tragic results.
When should you start getting yearly wellness exams?
Regular wellness exams are essential for tracking your health and detecting risks before they become dangerous, but the exact age and frequency with which you should schedule visits varies. U.S. government health experts recommend “selective” screenings based on certain health factors and demographics, rather than offering an across-the-board suggestion for annual exams. Your doctor can help you decide whether yearly exams are in your best interest and help you schedule the care you need.