Your Annual Wellness Exam – What to Expect and How to Prepare
Even if you’re generally healthy, it’s a good idea to see a doctor at least annually for a wellness physical. A wellness visit typically includes a physical examination, a review of your personal and family medical history, and a candid discussion about healthy lifestyle choices and habits.
At this appointment, you can generally expect your doctor to take your vital signs, including your blood pressure and heart rate, and check your eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. He or she can also test your vision and hearing, and examine your skin for suspicious moles or growths. Your doctor will record your height and weight and then calculate your body mass index (BMI), a measure that can be used to determine if you are overweight or obese. Finally, your doctor can determine whether you’re due for any immunizations, and also recommend routine screening tests that are appropriate for you.
One particularly important aspect of a wellness exam is the exchange of information that occurs as part of the doctor-patient discussion. This is your opportunity to ask specific questions and receive individualized guidance on healthy living practices. For instance, your doctor can provide valuable advice on nutrition, exercise, stress management, sleep, smoking cessation, and more. Significantly, he or she can also shed light on anything that you might be doing in your personal or professional life that could be putting you at risk for developing health issues.
To make the most of your time with your doctor, here are a few things you can do in advance to prepare for your appointment:
- Review your medical history. You might find it helpful to keep a log for this purpose, which you can refer to during your upcoming appointment and all future appointments. Include your allergies, if any, as well as any invasive medical procedures or surgeries you’ve had, along with the dates they were performed and the names of your treating physicians.
- Prepare a list of all medications that you are currently taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
- Talk with your family members about their personal medical histories. This is important information to discuss with your doctor, because some conditions have genetic predispositions.
- Think about how you’ve been feeling, and write down any health-related concerns that you have so that you will remember to mention them to your doctor.
If you would like to have a wellness exam, please feel free to contact or visit South Tampa Immediate Care. No appointments are ever necessary at our walk-in clinic, where you will be seen by a qualified doctor who has years of experience in identifying and treating many common illnesses and injuries.