You may have heard the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When it comes to your annual check-up, it’s excellent advice.
At North Shore-LIJ Health System, annual check-ups help our physicians understand your whole health picture. Our goal is to provide comprehensive health care for our patients to prevent illness and manage chronic conditions.
Why is an annual check-up important?
An annual check-up is vital to maintaining you and your family’s health. Your yearly visit helps you establish a relationship with your physician so that he or she can:
- Focus on your health and well-being
- Monitor your health over time to prevent disease and illness
- Perform health screenings to assess your risk for certain conditions
It’s important to stay in regular contact with your primary care physician so that:
- You have one place to go for all your health concerns. Your physician can really get to know you and your health condition, which makes it easier to spot problems at an early stage.
- Your physician can monitor your health over time. With a physical exam and appropriate lab tests, your physician establishes a point of reference to compare with your health from year to year.
Preventive care and health management
Our primary care physicians are skilled at uncovering health problems before they start. An annual check-up provides the opportunity to find problems early, when your chances for treatment and cure are better.
People who have chronic conditions may need to see their primary care physician more often than once a year. Your physician can look for any changes in your condition and take appropriate action to manage them.
Learn more about finding a primary care physician.
What happens during an annual check-up?
Our primary care physicians tailor your annual check-up for your specific needs. That means we do only the tests you need, based on your specific circumstances:
- Your personal and family medical history
- Your age and gender
- Any underlying health conditions
During your first visit to your primary care physician at North Shore-LIJ, your physician will:
- Perform a complete, customized physical exam
- Ask about your personal and family medical history
- Ask about health behaviors such as smoking, drug and alcohol use
- Request appropriate lab tests for your individual situation
- Perform health screenings for certain diseases
- Recommend lifestyle changes to prevent disease
Some common issues that are covered in an annual check-up include:
- Blood tests for levels of cholesterol, complete blood count and glucose
- Counseling about diet, physical activity and alcohol, drug or tobacco use
- Heart and lung function, by listening through a stethoscope
- Vision and hearing screenings
- Vital signs such as blood pressure, heart rate and temperature
We screen for a variety of diseases based on standard guidelines and evidence-based recommendations for patients of different ages. Learn more about our health screenings at North Shore-LIJ.