Well Exams

Going to the doctor for an exam when you are feeling well may seem strange. But it's not. It is proper use of medical care. Well exams focus on your overall health and health risks without the stress of illness.

During these check-ups your doctor gets to know you, your family history, and other vital facts about you that are important to your health. Your doctor may order screening tests to check for specific diseases. You also will get vaccines to help prevent life-threatening illness (see Immunizations to learn more). People of all ages need regular well exams: babies, children, teens, and adults.

See which preventive services you or a loved one may need this year. Use the myhealthfinder tool to get personalized preventive services recommendations for yourself or a loved one.

 

Why Go to the Doctor When You’re Not Sick?

Regular check-ups (also called well exams) are a part of good health care. The Alliance urges members to see their doctor within 120 days of joining the plan, and after that on a regular basis. The schedule should be worked out between you and your doctor.

When you or your child is sick

Don’t wait until the next well visit if you have a health question or concern. Call your doctor for advice and if needed, make an appointment. Sometimes it isn’t clear whether your doctor, urgent care or the emergency room is the best way to get care. The Alliance Nurse Line can help. Nurses answer the line 24 hours/7 days a week.

Babies

Babies see doctors often. There are many checks-ups during the first year of life and vaccine/shots at most of those check-ups.

Learn more about baby well visits at:

School-Aged Children and Teens

Healthy children do better in school. They are able to focus and learn, and they have fewer sick days.

Usually children need updates on their vaccines:

  • Before starting kindergarten or first grade
  • Before 7th grade

Your child will also need an exam in order to play a sport.

Learn more about school-aged children well visits at:

Adults

Adults should get well visits every year or as your doctor directs.  At the visits you will be asked about your health history, get a physical exam, and discuss your health goals.  You will also get needed screening tests and vaccines.

 

Additional reasons why you should go when you're not sick

 

Find problems early, when treatment is easier through medical tests and screenings

Your doctor will check your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels, and may order other tests and screenings. These tests and screenings give an inside view of what is happening in your body and can guide the doctor in assessing if everything is ok.

Discuss ways to stay healthy, like eating right and exercising

This is the time to discuss what self care you can do for your health. Do you have unexplained pain? Are you sad a lot of the time? Anything about your health that worries you should be shared with your doctor.

Find out what illnesses run in your family, to try to prevent them

Because health and illness have strong genetic links, getting a complete history of your family’s illnesses makes up a big part of the well exam. Your own personal history is also part of the story that your doctor needs to know. This history helps your doctor interpret results from tests and screenings, and guides decisions about what should be done or watched for in the future.

Get to know each other

Well exams give you an opportunity to assess your doctor. Do you like the way you are treated? This is an important relationship so you need to feel comfortable.