6 Reasons to Schedule Annual Exams

It’s almost the end of the year — have you gotten your annual physical and other regular screenings yet? 

For many insurance plans, this time of year is open enrollment. That means you may have the opportunity to switch your Medicare plans or pick a new plan through your employer-sponsored benefits. These changes take effect after the first of the year, so you may have different coverage or access to different doctors next year. Also, it’s possible that by this point you’ve met your annual deductible, so your copay may be less. All these are great reasons to get your appointments in before the end of the year. 

Avoiding insurance headaches aren’t the only reason to make your annual appointments, however. Here are 6 reasons to schedule your annual exams: 

Establish Health Baselines

Establishing baselines is a major reason to schedule your annual exams. Your doctor can collect basic vitals during your visit or after routine lab work, such as weight, blood pressure, glucose levels, and many more important statistics that paint a picture of your overall health. Having this information handy establishes a baseline to compare new information to in the future so you can tell if a condition is getting better or worse. 

Be Proactive about Prevention

A major reason to have yearly physicals and routine screenings is to identify any potential issues before they become a real problem. For instance, finding out you’re pre-diabetic and making the necessary changes to prevent diabetes is easier than reversing it once you have it. Likewise, catching cancer earlier increases your chances of survival. Don’t wait — regular check-ups can help ensure you stay healthy. 

Talk to a Doctor

While many people like to self-diagnose by using the internet, the best way to find out what’s really going on with your health is by talking to a doctor. Seeing your doctor regularly helps you form a solid, trusting relationship. Be sure to update your doctor on any life changes that could affect your mental or physical health. This gives them a complete picture to help make the right recommendations. 

Get Vaccinations

Talk to your doctor about your immunizations and get up-to-date while you’re at the office. Adults may need shingles vaccines, flu shots, and tetanus boosters.

Review Medications

It’s important that your doctors know about any medications you are taking, including vitamins, supplements, and over-the-counter drugs. Some medicines do not play nice with each other, and there could be bad side effects when they combine. Bring a list to your doctor and review them together. You may even find out you don’t need to take as many things as you thought, saving you money and hassle. 

Set Health Goals

A visit with your doctor is a great time to set health goals, and a plan for achieving them. Maybe you want to stop smoking, lower your blood pressure, or lose weight — discussing these with your doctor is important so you can find out how to safely reach your goals. 

Reach out to your doctor today to schedule your annual exam. If you need a new doctor, try our search tool here. Scripps AMG offers patients access to over 850 doctors in San Diego County in a wide range of specialities. Make your appointments today!

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Healthy Lifestyles Managing Illness
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