Going to the doctor when you’re well isn’t crazy. It’s “crazy smart!”
An annual wellness visit with your primary care physician (PCP) is a great opportunity to assess and improve your health. At this visit, your doctor will create or update your personalized prevention plan. The goal is to encourage you to develop and maintain good health habits. Although the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing, that doesn’t mean you should but your wellness visit on hold. In fact, it would be a good time to discuss any concerns you may have about a COVID-19 vaccine.
It’s not the same as your annual physical, though. Your physical generally includes a head-to-toe exam, bloodwork and other tests. But during your wellness visit your doctor often will do the following:
- Review your personal/family medical history
- Check your blood pressure, height and weight and get routine measurements
- Check mental functions (like concentration and memory)
- Review your medications or adjust dosages and note any new meds you may have been prescribed by other doctors
- Talk about any specialists you’ve seen
- Recommend health screenings
- Discuss health risks and treatment options
- Offer personalized advice
To make the most of your annual wellness visit, you should do the following:
- Brush up on your family medical history
- Document your health issues and any changes (noting when they began)
- Make notes on your health concerns and problems
- Take a list of your prescriptions, dosages and who prescribed them
- Make a list of any over-the-counter medications and supplements you take
Make sure you also follow these four steps for a better doctor visit.
Most health plans include a free (no cost to you) annual wellness visit. If you don’t have a PCP, that is easily solved. You can visit arkansasbluecross.com or call the number on the back of your member ID card. If you have a PCP, make sure to get your annual wellness visit booked.
It’s a smart move.