Among the most neglected of our habits is the annual healthcare check-up. While kids are often required to have an annual visit before entering the public school system, adults tend to forget about the benefits a yearly check-up offers.

They’re necessary at every stage of life, but become particularly important as we age. Below, we’ll go over the various visits at each age, the benefits, and what you can expect.

Children’s Wellness Checks

As mentioned, children require regular checks on their health. While kids are hearty and heal quickly, they also grow rapidly and an ailment can easily be overlooked. It’s really important that as your kids grow, their health is being taken care of so they can grow effectively and healthily.

This also instills in them that going for an annual trip to the doctor’s is necessary for overall health and wellbeing. It takes the fear out of these types of visits and allows them to see the necessity in carrying the habit into adulthood.

You can expect these visits to be routine, but still altered for each individual. The doctor will review your medical history, take your height, weight, blood pressure, pulse, and check other vital areas. They will then often open it to questions or concerns you or your child have and address them right there.

Vaccinations are often administered during this visit, depending on if your child is due for them.

annual doctor visits

Adult Annual Visits

Your yearly visit to the doctor may look similar to when you were a kid; checking the vitals and general health. But you may also have extra tests performed, specifically bloodwork to get your levels regularly, which is vital for being able to catch any abnormalities year after year.

You’ll be able to ask questions, discuss your overall habits and health, and take a look at areas of improvement to avoid more severe medical needs as you age.

Additionally, women should see a gynecologist every year to keep up with the health of your reproductive region. 

During these visits, you may learn of a change in blood work levels, for better or worse. Your doctor will help you decipher what it means and how you can correct them going forward. Depending on the severity, they may recommend additional visits prior to your next yearly appointment.

Check-Ups As We Age

As we age, our body’s ability to ward off illnesses and other conditions can wane. This is especially true if your health wasn’t always prioritized in your past, and annual visits to the doctor were scarce.

These visits have a lot to do with addressing existing health concerns like cholesterol, weight challenges, diabetes, joint health, and more of the common ailments we collect as we age. Vaccinations are also necessary due to the decrease in effectiveness of our immune systems over time.

Hopefully, you have blood work from other years prior that can help your doctor determine if anything has changed significantly with each yearly visit. If not, a blood panel will be taken to get a full spectrum of insight into your body’s overall health.

Annual visits should be the norm for all the benefits. If nothing else, it can help you catch medical conditions early so treatment can be swift and effective. 

Now is a great time to schedule your yearly check-up if your deductible is already met! Get ahead of future health concerns by keeping tabs on your health every year.

Dr. Bertie Bregman
Dr. Bertie Bregman
Full Stack Family Medicine is a newsletter about what it’s really like to practice medicine and run a medical practice in New York City.
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