How Often Should You Get a Medical Checkup?
Most people should have a yearly checkup. If you have health problems and show specific signs or symptoms that would prompt you to seek medical attention.
- Purpose of the periodic health examination
- As primary prevention
- To identify risk factors for common chronic diseases
- To detect disease that has no apparent symptoms (secondary prevention)
- As a way for the doctor to counsel people to promote healthy behavior
- To update clinical data since your last checkup
- To enhance the relationship between you and your doctor
What Can You Expect During a Typical Medical Checkup?
What can you expect at your checkup?
- Clinical history: Updating information on your chart or medical record is important. Some of the items you will likely be asked about include the following:
- Dates and results of previous preventive procedures (such as prior immunizations, Pap tests, mammograms, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure readings)
- A complete and updated family history of diseases: This will give your health care professional an idea about which diseases are common in your family.
- Your past medical history, including a review of all medications you take and previous surgeries
- Information about your workplace and leisure and living conditions at home
- Your habits such as recreational drug use, alcohol use, smoking, exercise, sexual practices, and seat belt use
- Information about your normal body functions such as eating, sleeping, urination, bowel function, vision, and hearing
Physical examination and diagnostic tests
- The number of physical examinations will vary depending on your gender, age, and information obtained from the clinical history.
- The physical exam is most useful in identifying disease in people who already have symptoms, but it is often of little use as a screening test in people who have no complaints.
- Dr. Shomo has age-specific charts for periodic health screening for the general population, with special interventions for high-risk populations.
Procedures no longer done routinely: Unless there is a specific reason for these tests to be done, however, Dr. Shomo can give you an examination to see if you need testing for the following:
- Blood chemistries
- Vision and hearing testing up to 75 years of age
- ECG: Heart tracing
- Screening for ovarian cancer
- Screening for prostate cancer