What Is an Annual Wellness Visit and Why Is It Important?


An annual wellness visit will be a little different for every person. That is because every person has different health needs. You may see your primary care physician several times a year or you may only need to see them once a year, so your relationship with your physician may be different. Your health needs will also change as you age and your lifestyle habits change.

Brittany Sullivan, MD, Family Medicine at St. Elizabeth Burlington Primary Care says, “We want to keep our patients healthy and prevent the diseases before they happen. Your annual wellness visits are very important for the preventative side of medicine.”

During your annual wellness visit your doctor will:

  • Give any needed and/or recommended immunizations.
  • Offer personalized health advice.
  • Look for any cognitive impairment.
  • Order any necessary blood tests.
  • Review the screenings you need in the next year.
  • Review your family health history.
  • Screen for depression.
  • Talk to you about your health goals.
  • Update your list of medications and allergies.

Heidi Sharp, MD, Family Medicine at St. Elizabeth Cold Spring Primary Care explains why having an annual conversation about your health is important, “If there is something new family history wise, maybe your mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 50, then I need to know because that can have an impact on you.”

Establishing a Relationship with Your Doctor

Just as crucial to the overall wellness visit, is the relationship you build with your doctor during your annual visit. The appointment gives you an opportunity to talk with your doctor about your health status and your long- and short-term health goals. Your doctor will then work with you to realize those goals.

Gina Grove, MD, Family Medicine at St. Elizabeth Hebron Medical Arts Primary Care says, “When we go over your health goals for the next year, we may want to bring you back sooner to help you reach those goals.”

Having a good relationship with your primary care physician will help build trust and help them get to know you. If you need specialized care, they can help you coordinate that care and they will follow-up with you after any hospitalizations. Your doctor is your partner in improving and maintaining your health.

All insurances cover an annual wellness visit under the Affordable Care Act and anyone enrolled in Medicare is eligible for an annual wellness visit for no copay. Schedule your annual wellness visit today at stedocs.com/primarycare.