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Don’t put off your annual checkup

Don’t put off your annual checkup

It’s important to see a doctor for an annual checkup because a lot can change about your health in 12 months. When you go more than a year between doctor visits, you can allow serious health issues to develop unchecked that can become much more difficult to treat once they are diagnosed.

If you dread going to the doctor, you aren’t alone. However, the American Academy of Family physicians advises that by seeing your doctor routinely, you can stay on top of risk factors and manage your health.

What does an annual checkup include?

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, having an annual checkup with your doctor is a great way to help you stay healthy through preventive care. Here’s what happens when you go to your doctor for an annual checkup:

  • You’ll fill out a questionnaire about your health and family history of disease.
  • Your doctor will ask follow-up questions about your answers.
  • Your height and weight will be measured.
  • Your blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and respiration rate will be checked.
  • Your doctor will listen to your heart and lungs using a stethoscope.
  • Your doctor will ask about your and your family’s medical history.
  • Your doctor will ask you to list any medications or supplements you take.
  • You may need to have a fasting blood test so that your doctor can check your cholesterol, blood sugar and other health markers.
  • Your doctor will give you advice on how to maintain or improve your health.
  • If you’re a woman, your doctor may give you a pap smear or pelvic exam.

Not every annual checkup is the same. The tests you undergo at your annual checkup will be tailored to your sex, age and health history.

What is on the test?

When you visit your doctor for your annual checkup, you’ll be measured for most important health markers. These include:

But I never get sick

Even healthy people should see their doctors every year for wellness exams. These exams may not include all the tests ordered during physicals, but they can help ensure that you’re up to date on all your required screening tests and that you’re living a healthy lifestyle.

These wellness visits become even more important if you’re diagnosed with a chronic health problem, such as high blood pressure or Type 2 diabetes. While these conditions can be managed at home, they also require working with a doctor. If you have heart disease, annual checkups help you manage risk factors that limit your risk of complications, such as heart attack or stroke.

Book your annual checkup today

If you’re ready to take charge of your health, don’t wait another day to schedule your annual checkup. At University Medical Center New Orleans, our team of primary care providers wants to help you take the first steps toward lifelong wellness and good health.

Learn more about Primary Care at University Medical Center . We look forward to seeing you!