On Your Health

Check back to the INTEGRIS On Your Health blog for the latest health and wellness information for all Oklahomans, published three times a week.

Why are Yearly Doctor Visits so Important?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Remember that old adage? When it comes to your health, it's actually true. While spending an hour or two at the doctor each year when you aren't even feeling sick is most likely nobody's idea of a good time, annual visits (they can be called physicals, wellness visits, annual wellness exams, prevention checkups, etc.) with your primary care doctor are essential to maintaining good health. Making time to see your doctor at least once each year can keep you healthy and reduce your chance of serious health conditions down the road, by catching the early warning signs.

Depending on your age, sex, and family medical history, a checkup with your doctor may include:

  • Blood, urine, vision, and hearing tests to evaluate your overall health
  • Assessments of your blood pressure, cholesterol level, and weight
  • A discussion about your diet and exercise habits and any tobacco, drug, and alcohol use
  • Immunizations and booster shots
  • Screenings to assess your risk of developing certain diseases, including diabetes
  • Depending on your age and sexual lifestyle, testing for STDs and possibly HIV
  • Starting at age 50, or younger if you have a family history, a screening test for colorectal cancer
  • A discussion about depression and stress to evaluate your mental health

Ana Garcia, APRN-CNP, is a family nurse practitioner who received her Master of Science in Nursing from The University of Oklahoma. She practices at INTEGRIS Family Care Southwest. “I have a particular passion in serving the Hispanic community of Oklahoma City, and my mission is to always provide evidence-based care to my patients and empower them to make informed decisions about their health care journey. As a child I dreamed of working in medicine, and I’m honored to get to provide quality care for the residents in the city I’ve always called home.” If you would like to make an appointment with Ana call 405-616-1225.

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