Learn how to schedule routine checkups

They say that it is better to be safe than sorry. And when it comes to diseases, it is preferable to address them when they are just starting. It is less complicated, painful, traumatic, or expensive. Therefore, it is necessary to schedule routine medical check-ups.

There are different types of checks. Just as there are basic and general, there are specialties, in which the person is controlled in case of suffering from a chronic disease. Some are more complex and include specific tests.

In light of this, it is pertinent to ask: how often should routine medical check-ups be scheduled? What aspects should be taken into account when going to the appointment? In this article we will answer these and other questions.

Why are routine checkups important?

A routine medical checkup it is an examination carried out by a health professional. In it, a general physical examination of the patient is performed and a detailed medical history is drawn up.

The main purpose of a routine medical checkup is to prevent or rule out, as well as to carry out early detection of pathologies, identifying the main associated risk factors.

There are, on the other hand, several reasons why it is important to visit the doctor regularly. Among these we have the following:

  • In many medical check-ups it is possible to detect a disease. This frequency increases with age.
  • A relationship develops with the doctor. In this sense, the patient feels more secure and confident and the health professional knows the patient better.
  • Regular visits to the doctor allow you to build a history that can be helpful in emergencies.
  • In the case of patients who are under treatment, routine visits allow evaluating how the person is reacting to a drug, for example.
  • Too I know assesses the determining factor of risk factors and the lifestyle in the evolution or appearance of a disease.

With all this, a work plan is established for medications, examinations and subsequent check-ups. The ultimate goal or goal of routine medical checkups is that we have a longer and healthier life.

Regular checks ensure a higher level of detection of disorders that would go unnoticed.

Read on: What should a good annual health check include?

Types of routine checkups you can get

Scheduling a routine medical checkup is for prevention and targets people with no known prior illness. In this sense, It is different from the control that is done with a specialist for a specific ailment. On the other hand, it can also be differentiated from the routine follow-up to which people with a chronic disease go.

Basic medical check-up

A general medical check-up includes basic exploration and review of cynical history: Family history, medications and allergies, vaccination and previous screenings.

In this sense, the exchange of doctor-patient information is very important, known as anamnesis. In fact, there are studies that indicate that Forgetting to mention something can compromise life expectancy.

Depending on the results of the anamnesis and initial examination of signs and symptoms, a series of tests may be indicated. These may be blood, urine and stool tests, an electrocardiogram or a chest X-ray, among others.

Routine medical check-ups by specialties

There are routine checkups by specialty, focused on a particular apparatus or organ. For example, in otorhinolaryngology, cardiology, pulmonology, gastroenterology, urology, among others. Other checkups or reviews, such as ophthalmology and dentistry, should also be taken into account.

Complete medical check-up

For a more comprehensive medical check-up, a variety of tests and scans can be added, including the respiratory function test, stress echocardiogram, and abdominal ultrasound. It will depend on the professional criteria and the protocol that is applied in the geographical region in question.

In the case of women, a Pap smear is recommended for cervical cancer screening. Taking into account the age factor, mammograms and screening for osteoporosis are performed from the age of 40 onwards from the age of 65.

In men over 50, prostate examination is recommended every year or two, including prostate antigen and digital rectal examination. Although in people with a family history of cancer it is suggested to start earlier.

Similarly, depending on lifestyle and medical history, additional tests may be performed. These include the following:

  • Thoracic CT scan in case the patient is a smoker.
  • Abdominopelvic CT scan.
  • Coronary CT angiography when there are severe cardiovascular risk factors.
  • Endoscopic studies in patients with digestive symptoms or over 50 years of age.

Keep reading: Health check-ups in women: which ones and how often should they be done?

Tips for scheduling your routine checkups

From the age of 40 it is advisable to have routine medical check-ups, general or by specialty, at least every two years. And after 50 this frequency should be annual.

The same is true for people with a condition, such as high blood pressure; with risk factors, such as obesity or smoking; with chronic diseases, such as diabetes; or have a family history, such as cancer.

Here are some tips on what the person should do to schedule their routine checkups and organize themselves based on the exams they need to undergo.

1. Write down the checks that you should carry out

Not only because of the fact that when we reach a certain age, memory begins to be unreliable, but also because we have many tasks and activities. It is necessary to note which are the additional checks that we must perform.

During the consultation it is necessary to take note of them. At the end of this, we must review the list with the doctor to be sure we have not missed anything.

2. Keep track of dates

We must keep track of the dates in which we go or perform the tests. In the same way, we must proceed with the dates on which we are going to go to control, we have a new appointment or an exam was scheduled.

3. Keep a symptom diary

Any symptoms that we consider to be of care should be noted. For example, a headache. When? For how long? How intense? It is important to take this diary with you to the doctor's visit.

4. Program the dates in the mobile reminder

It is important to have an agenda to write down, but we can use various mechanisms to remember consultation dates and exams. From a programmer in the kitchen to the computer, through the mobile.

Today's cell phones have multiple functions. You can schedule reminders a week before, the day before, and several hours before your appointment or exam. So you won't forget it.

Women have a special check-up and control plan that includes screening for cervical cancer and breast neoplasms.

When to go to the doctor urgently?

Scheduling a routine checkup is something you can wait, but not an emergency. This is a health situation that manifests itself suddenly and intensely and that it can represent a mortal risk.

In this regard, it is necessary to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you experience any symptoms such as those mentioned below:

  • High fever
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Sharp chest pain.
  • Paralysis on one side of the body or sudden loss of sensation in one limb.
  • Severe burns.
  • Sudden loss of vision
  • Symptoms of poisoning.
  • Severe allergic reaction with shock anaphylactic.
  • Shock.
  • Vomiting or coughing up blood

Get in the habit of scheduling your checkups and get used to scoring

On the day of the consultation, you will surely have some things to say and ask. It is good to make a prior list of the issues you want to discuss with your doctor. Do not forget that you must prioritize the most important.

If you have not understood something of what your professional told you, you have a question regarding a dose, a medication or the date of an appointment, call and ask for information to clarify. Ask your doctor for their contact information: phone or email. Ask him what medium he prefers to communicate.

Take notes during consultationsLike when you were in school. At the end, request the clarifications that are necessary. Remember that complete and accurate information is a tool so that an appropriate treatment can be established and help you. The only one who knows what he feels is you.