What is an annual exam?
An annual exam is a once-a-year visit to your primary care provider for a general health check, including a breast exam and pap smear. An annual exam visit does not include discussion of new problems or detailed review of chronic conditions. Annual exams are also called routine checkup, yearly exam, annual pap, and preventive visit.
Please schedule a separate appointment if you have health concerns other than your routine physical exam.
- Examples are:
- A list of concerns or questions.
- New health care concerns or problems found at the time of your annual exam.
- Ongoing health problems that need more attention.
What should I expect during my annual exam?
- General physical exam (including breast exam)
- Pelvic exam (pap smear)
- Update of life and work situation
- Update of family health history (any new serious illnesses in your family?)
- Review of your health history
- Update of current medications, herbs, and supplements (bring list)
- Need for medication refills
- Evaluation of need for health screening tests based on age and personal and family history (such as mammogram, test for sexually transmitted diseases, and colon cancer screening)
- Update on immunizations
Besides routine check-ups or to obtain contraception, you are welcome to schedule an appointment if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Abnormal or heavy vaginal discharge that itches, burns, has an odor, or causes you discomfort
- Heavy vaginal bleeding, missed periods or irregular menstrual cycles
- Bleeding between periods, also known as spotting or breakthrough bleeding
- Painful intercourse
- Menstrual cramps that cause you to miss school or work
- Any signs of pregnancy
- Side effects or problems from your birth control method
- Breast pain, lump, or discharge from the nipple