What to expect during your annual well-person exam
Your doctor may provide advice on:
- Dental health
- Vision health
- Diet, exercise, nutrition, physical activity and injury prevention
- Sun exposure
- Smoking cessation, substance abuse, alcohol misuse and tobacco consumption
- Sexual behavior, physical and emotional abuse by a partner and violence and abuse against vulnerable adults and the elderly
If you are at increased risk for certain cancers, you should ask your doctor about screening schedules and possibly starting your screenings at an earlier age than general recommendations. A risk factor is anything that increases your chance of developing a condition. Examples of risk factors can include your age, gender, family history or lifestyle.
During your exam, you may receive immunizations (shots) and screenings, depending on your health and your doctor’s judgment. Select a link below to learn more about immunizations, screenings and therapies:
Immunizations (shots) can help keep you healthy. Learn about the immunizations you may need.
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm: If you are a male between the ages of 65 and 75 and have ever smoked, talk to your doctor about a one-time screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm (an abnormal widening of the major blood vessel in the abdomen).
- Blood pressure measurement: Every two years for those with blood pressure less than 120/80 and yearly for those with blood pressure 120 to 139/80 to 90. Learn more about preventing high blood pressure.
- Bone mineral density (BMD) testing: In men 70 and older, bone mineral density (BMD) testing is recommended every two years when taking osteoporosis medicine. In younger men, as your doctor advises.
- Cholesterol blood test: Every five years; more frequently as your doctor advises. Learn more about cholesterol.
- Colon and rectal cancer: To age 75, speak with your doctor about which of the following tests are right for you:
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years.
- Yearly fecal occult blood test (FOBT).
- Fecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year.
- Colonoscopy every 10 years.
- Dental checkup: Twice a year or as your doctor advises. Learn more about oral health.
- Depression screening: Periodic assessment. Learn more about depression.
- Diabetes, type 2 blood test: Starting at age 45 and repeated every three years. Learn more about diabetes.
- Hearing screening: Periodic assessment as your doctor advises. Learn more about hearing loss.
- Height and weight check: Yearly.
- Hepatitis B blood test: For those at high risk. Learn more about hepatitis B.
- Hepatitis C blood test: For those at high risk for the infection. If you were born between 1945 and 1965, speak with your doctor about a one-time screening. Learn more about hepatitis C.
- HIV screening: All sexually active men should be screened for HIV to age 65, and/or as your doctor advises. Learn more about HIV:
- Lung cancer screening: From age 55 to 80, speak with your doctor about having an annual low-dose chest CT scan if you have a history of smoking at least a pack a day for 30 years and are still smoking or quit within the last 15 years.
- Obesity screening: Use of body mass index (BMI) to identify adults at risk for disease and death due to being overweight (as defined by having a BMI at or above 25-29.9 kg/m2) and obese (as defined by having a BMI at or above 30 kg/m2). Learn more about preventing obesity.
- Prostate cancer: Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of screening.
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) screening: All sexually active men at risk, as part of a regular health care visit. Learn more about STDs.
- Skin cancer screening: Should be part of a routine cancer-related checkup. Check yourself once a month. Learn more about skin cancer prevention.
- Vision/glaucoma screening: Yearly, as needed or directed by your doctor. Check with eye doctor for recommended frequency of a complete eye exam if there is a history of eye injury, diabetes, family history of eye problems and/or you are African American older than 40. Learn more about common eye disorders.
- Aspirin therapy: As your doctor advises.
- Exercise or physical therapy and Vitamin D supplements for adults ages 65 and older living in a group setting: For those living in group setting such as a nursing home or assisted living, as your doctor advises.