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Regular Checkups Key to Good Health

August 16, 2022

Regular checkups, or preventive exams, are an important way for you and your doctor to find health problems early, and even prevent some medical conditions. They also give you a chance to talk to your doctor about problems or questions related to your health.

What to expect

Most checkups start with a talk about your health history and current health or problems. Your doctor will also check your height, weight, blood pressure, and heart rate. After that, most doctors will talk to you about things like:*

  • Medicines you take
  • Your nutrition
  • Your physical activity
  • Stress in your life, or signs of depression
  • Your safety habits, like wearing a seat belt and using sunscreen
  • Tests, screenings, and vaccines you may need

Prepare for your visit

It will help both you and your doctor if you make some notes about your health ahead of time. Before your visit, write down:*

  • Your health history and your family’s, especially if anything has changed since your last visit.
  • The name of all medicines you take, as well as the dosage and how often you take them (this includes vitamins and over-the-counter drugs).
  • Concerns or problems with your health.
  • Changes in your health.

Preventive versus diagnostic care

It’s important to understand the difference between preventive and diagnostic care:

  • This is different from diagnostic tests and exams. A doctor may recommend diagnostic care to diagnose, or find the cause of, symptoms or health problems that you are experiencing.
  • Regular checkups, exams, and tests that help detect or prevent health problems are considered preventive care.

As an example, your doctor might want you to get a colonoscopy (a test that checks your colon). If it’s because of your age, or because your family has a history of colon problems, it’s preventive care. But if it’s because you’re having pain or other symptoms, it’s diagnostic care.

To find a doctor:

  1. Go to
  2. Log in or use your member ID for a basic search.

* Healthline: Getting a Physical Examination (accessed November 2020):