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Why Your Doctor Wants to See You More Than Once a Year

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Have you had your annual physical this year? For seniors, it’s extremely important for your long-term health to have an annual physical for prevention and maintenance. As we age, our health becomes more vulnerable and small concerns can quickly evolve into major issues. Your provider recommends an annual physical to establish a baseline for the year and to develop a care plan. Your provider will also document any changes to your health to prevent serious chronic conditions and other complicating factors to your wellbeing. If you haven’t had your annual physical yet, click here to schedule an appointment now. Once most people have had their annual physical, they think that they don’t need to see their provider for another 12 months. As a senior, did you know that your doctor would like to see you more than once in a year after you turn 65?

Not only is it important to maintain an annual physical, it’s also important for your continued well-being that you see your provider more than once a year to evaluate the original care plan or to make changes as needed. Based on your conditions, overall health, and other factors, your provider will decide on how frequently to see each other every year. Not everyone is the same and how often you need to see your provider is custom to every patient need. To better prevent illness, disease, and other complications, it is crucial for you to also have an adult wellness visit. Your provider would like to have a better understanding of your whole-person wellness and this visit will allow them a better opportunity to go over what is working for your health than when you aren’t well. This will also provide you with an additional opportunity to discuss any medical changes, symptoms, and questions you may have with your doctor or another provider.

Why are adult wellness visits just as important as annual physicals? As a senior, it is most crucial to your health to consistently screen for numerous health conditions. During an annual physical, your provider will check your overall wellbeing and assess any issues you may have, but an adult wellness visit helps your provider better understand your health and what is best working for you.

How are adult wellness visits different from annual physicals? Though we may use the terms interchangeably, an annual physical is different from an adult wellness visit. While during both, a provider will take height, weight, and blood pressure measurements, and review your medical and family history, these appointments differ in a few key ways outlined below.

Annual Physical

  • Check reflexes
  • Assess risk factors for preventable diseases
  • Physical exams (such as head, lung, neck, abdominal, or neurological exams)
  • Take any samples for testing

Adult Wellness Visit

  • Record current providers and prescription drugs
  • Make a screening schedule for preventative diseases
  • Make a care plan for chronic and other health conditions
  • Test for cognitive wellness
  • Answer any questions and provide advice

An adult wellness visit allows you and your provider to understand what is working best for your health. This more personalized understanding of your wellness will allow your provider an additional opportunity to identify any changes or potential issues in your wellbeing going forward. It also creates a deeper understanding of your health by keeping your medical records up to date, creating a screening schedule for preventable chronic diseases and conditions, and allowing more time to ask your provider any questions that you may have.

When should I schedule my adult wellness visit? Your provider will decide on how often you should see each other, so each person will have a different, customized adult wellness visit schedule. Some patients need to see their provider 3 or 4 times a year to monitor chronic health conditions while some don’t require as many to maintain their wellbeing.

A roadmap to health can be viewed below and can act as a general guide for scheduling your appointments:

January – March

April – June

July – September

October – December

Annual Physical

Basic Health Screenings

Adult Wellness Visit

Basic Health Screenings



How do I schedule an adult wellness visit? You can schedule an appointment by clicking here.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.