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But there are health benefits to keeping up that relationship even when you aren’t sick. Having a main doctor who knows you and your personal history helps improve your long-term health.
It can start with a yearly visit. That’s like regularly checking in with a friend or family member, so you know what is going on in their life and they know about yours. Regular visits help keep that rapport with your doctor.
Annual exams are vital. These visits allow you and your doctor to focus on prevention of disease and ways to maintain the parts of your overall physical and mental health that are in good shape.
Annual checkups include the basics and what may have changed with your health since your last visit:
In addition to prevention, routine health exams and screenings can help find serious problems early. Then your chance for treatment and cure is better.
This visit is the time to cover all aspects of your health, both your body and your mind. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any mental health concerns you may have as well as your physical health.
You can lay the groundwork for a good patient-doctor relationship with some basic steps. A good relationship means your doctor can spend time “listening to your concerns and giving counseling for your particular needs,” says WebMD.
Here are the seven parts to a good office visit suggested by Scripps Health:
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