Routine Wellness Exams
Mukhtar S. Nandra, M.D.
Going to the doctor is something many of us do only when we are sick or injured. So why should you see your doctor if you think you are in good health? There are many reasons. Routine wellness exams can help prevent diseases before they take hold or catch health problems at early stages when they are easier to control or cure. Another great benefit of a regular check-up is that over time you and your doctor develop a rapport.
If you know what to expect, it can make you more at ease with going to the doctor. Following are the main components of a wellness exam:
Personal Medical History — Tell your doctor about your diet, exercise, alcohol and tobacco use, sexual behavior, family history of diseases and any symptoms you may be feeling. This information is vital because it affects your risk factors for various illnesses and will determine the need for any tests.
Physical Exam — The doctor will check your height, weight and blood pressure, and listen to your heart, lungs and carotid artery for abnormalities such as a heart murmur or lung obstruction. A doctor will also examine your mouth, ears, lymph nodes, abdomen and skin.
Consultation — After the medical history and physical exam, a doctor will talk to you about any risk factors you may have and discuss what habits you should change to maintain good health. Routine wellness visits are an important part of preventing illness or detecting something before it becomes a bigger health issue.