Health Care

What Is an Annual Wellness Visit?

A Patient Looks Over Her Chart with a Provider on a Tablet in an Exam Room

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An annual wellness visit is different from a standard checkup or physical. But what is an annual wellness visit, and what can you expect to happen during your appointment? We're here to answer your most pressing questions about wellness exams so you can stay healthy year-round.

Main Components of Annual Wellness Visits

During an annual wellness visit, your primary care provider looks for signs of potential health problems. This falls under preventive health care rather than sick care.

Annual wellness exams are a great example of preventive health care. Instead of waiting for things to go wrong, your primary care provider will check on your health during your wellness checkup and identify risk factors for potential problems down the road.

We’ll walk you through what an annual wellness visit is meant to assess and accomplish.

Health Risk Assessments

During your yearly wellness visit, your doctor conducts a health risk assessment. They start by gathering important information about your health and personal history, including:

  • Family history
  • Medical history
  • Previous surgeries and minor procedures
  • Your concerns about your health

Your primary care doctor also identifies lifestyle factors that could influence your wellness, including:

  • Activity levels
  • Alcohol use
  • Nutrition
  • Sleep habits
  • Smoking status
  • Stress levels
  • Weight

Covering each of these factors helps your doctor determine the best plan for keeping your body and mind healthy.

Physical Exam

You've probably heard of a physical, as it's part of annual preventive health care. A physical may also be a part of your yearly wellness exam if you still need to get one that year.

Your medical team will check your basic stats, including blood pressure, height and weight. Your doctor may ask you to move certain body parts or feel them to check for abnormalities. You can review the recommended health screenings for men and health screenings for women in more detail.

Our goal at AdventHealth Primary Care+ is to develop a personalized prevention plan. We want to support your health and well-being throughout your entire life.

We will help you set health goals and make solid plans to stick to them. We're always here to help you achieve your wellness goals, especially those centered around disease prevention.

Medication Review

At your annual wellness visit, your primary care team will update your list of medications as needed. This helps identify any potential side effects or bad interactions that could harm your health immediately and in the long term. Your primary care provider will then make medication recommendations based on your current health status and prescription list.

The Importance of Annual Wellness Visits

If you’re curious about what an annual wellness visit is intended to do, it covers multiple things: it keeps you and your primary care provider aware of your current health condition, helps prevent diseases and empowers you to maintain optimal health all year long. If you skip your annual wellness exam, you may miss important information about your health.

Early Detection of Health Problems

Preventive care is designed to detect serious health issues at early stages. Early intervention is crucial for positive health outcomes, and it could be the difference between life and death for some health conditions.

Establishing a Baseline for Health

Frequent check-ins with your primary care provider are important if you have any existing medical conditions. Annual wellness exams allow your doctor to track changes in your health over time. This data guides your treatment plans.

Patient-Provider Communication

Communication between patients and primary health care providers vastly improves public health. When you have a comfortable relationship with your provider, you know more about what's happening with your body. As a result, you'll be able to live your healthiest life, and you'll feel more secure in your lifelong wellness journey.

What to Expect During Your Annual Wellness Visit

Make sure you're prepared for your annual visit to make the most out of your appointment. Proper preparation will ensure you can focus on what really matters: monitoring and improving your health.

Preparing for Your Wellness Checkup

If your doctor does not already have your health records, you'll need to provide your updated health information for your annual wellness exam. The more documentation you bring, the better. Your provider will then review the necessary information to make the best decisions about your treatment plan.

Bring a list of questions or concerns you currently have about your health. No matter how minor they may seem, it's important to bring everything up. Subtle symptoms can be signs of much larger health problems.

What Happens During the Wellness Visit

At AdventHealth Primary Care+, we encourage you to actively and enthusiastically participate in your care. We want to serve you and your family, so we facilitate in-depth discussions with you as our patient. Never be afraid to ask any health questions or express your concerns during your annual wellness visit.

Maximizing the Benefits of Your Annual Wellness Visit

Ultimately, what is an annual wellness visit good for if it doesn’t help you take charge of your health? We encourage effective communication with your provider to get the most out of your yearly visit.

Don't hesitate to use clear, specific language about your health concerns with your provider. You should also be honest about your lifestyle habits. Your primary care provider's goal is to provide judgment-free, whole-person health care so you can thrive.

It's a good idea to write down any health and wellness goals you make during your annual wellness visit. If your provider gives you any specific advice on achieving those goals, also note that. That way, you'll remember the journey you're on long after your yearly visit is over.


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What is an annual wellness visit vs. a physical?

An annual physical includes a full examination, including lab work and tests that may require physical contact. A yearly wellness appointment is a discussion and series of assessments to document health information. A physical is often a component of annual wellness exams.

What is an annual wellness visit for?

Annual wellness visits provide preventive medical care by reviewing documented health status and diagnosing new concerns. It enables your physician to monitor your health progression while equipping you with the information needed to build awareness around your health and lifestyle.

What is an annual wellness visit like for women?

A women's annual wellness visit evaluates the risk of chronic diseases. Your doctor may ask you how often you examine your breasts for lumps or any other signs of health problems. Your primary care provider may complete a Pap smear during your visit or recommend a follow-up visit to an OB/GYN.

What is an annual wellness visit like for men?

A men's annual wellness visit evaluates the risk of chronic diseases. Your doctor may ask you how often you examine yourself for lumps or other signs of health concerns, such as prostate enlargement. If you have not had your annual physical, your physician may provide a prostate or testicular exam.

Prioritize Preventive Care With an Annual Wellness Visit

We don’t want you to have to wonder what an annual wellness visit is meant to do. Through this visit, your doctor will empower you to protect your health all year long through awareness and disease prevention.

We're here for you every year at AdventHealth Primary Care+. We know preventive health care is important and want you to maximize your options. Schedule an annual wellness visit with us today.

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