How Often Should You See Your Doctor for a Checkup?

It’s better to prevent an illness than to have to treat it. That’s why regular checkups are essential. Routinely evaluating your risk factors for various medical conditions, screening for cancer and other diseases, and assessing your lifestyle habits helps you stay healthy while reducing your risk of chronic or life-threatening diseases. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of regular checkups with your doctor, how often you should get one, how to prepare for one, and whether they’re covered by insurance.

How often should adults get a checkup?

The recommendations regarding the frequency of routine checkups are based on your age, risk factors, and current health status. While opinions vary, routine checkups with your doctor are generally recommended as follows: once every 3 years if you’re under the age of 50 and in good health once a year once you turn 50 If you have a chronic disease, like diabetes or COPD for instance, you should see your doctor more frequently, no matter how old you are. Your doctor may suggest more or less time between your checkups based on your risk factors, screening test results, and current health status.

What are the benefits of regular checkups?

Regular checkups with your healthcare provider can benefit your health in many ways. Some of the key benefits include:
  1. finding potentially life-threatening health issues early before they cause a problem
  2. early treatment of health conditions, which increases the odds of a good outcome
  3. regular monitoring of existing health issues, which lowers the risk of worsening symptoms or severe complications
  4. staying up-to-date on vaccinations and screening tests
  5. limiting extra healthcare costs associated with treating complicated or serious conditions that aren’t caught early
  6. developing and maintaining an open, honest relationship with your primary care physician (PCP)
  7. learning new ways to live a healthy, longer life and improving your health

What should be included in a checkup?

During your annual checkup, your doctor will review your past health history, evaluate your current health, and schedule appropriate screening tests.

For men and women, an adult annual checkup should include a review and update of:

your medical history
your family history, if necessary
your medication list and allergies
your vaccination and screening test history

Men and women are typically screened for: high blood pressure obesity, based on your body mass index tobacco use alcohol and drug misuse depression HIV screening for adults ages 15 to 65 and anyone at high risk hepatitis C for anyone born between 1945 and 1965 type 2 diabetes for anyone with risk factors or a family history colorectal cancer starting at age 50 lung cancer with a yearly low-dose CT scan for adults ages 55 to 80 who currently smoke or have smoked within the last 15 years