The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that cancer and heart disease remain the primary causes of death for both men and women in the United States. However, many other conditions can also significantly impact people’s health, including diabetes and stroke. While some of these conditions can be treated, many can also be prevented.

These diseases can be detected early, which highlights the need for annual physical (AP) exams. They’re done to assess your overall health and wellness. Other screenings and tests are done to check for changes in your body that could indicate a health problem.

As you age, annual physical exams are necessary to remain healthy and catch any problems early to prevent them from worsening.

What to Expect from Your Annual Physical Exam

In general, you may expect your annual physical to provide an update on your health during the year. This includes accounting for any changes in allergies, supplements, prescriptions, or procedures during the year.

Your AP exam will also include examining your vital signs, a visual and a physical exam, and various laboratory tests. You may be referred to other doctors for additional testing if there are any discrepancies or your current state of health demands more extensive screenings.

How to Prepare for Your Annual Physical Exam

To ensure that your AP exam goes smoothly, here are six tips to help you prepare for your annual physical exam:

1. Schedule Your Annual Physical Early in the Year 

Schedule your AP exam early in the year so that you don’t forget. If you don’t already have a primary care physician (PCP), often known as a “health care provider” by insurance carriers, you can contact your insurer for a list of providers in your area.

2. Do a 12-Hour Fast Before Your Appointment

Your doctor may prescribe blood tests during your annual physical. To receive reliable results, fast for 12 hours before your appointment. Fasting ensures precise blood sugar readings. It’s challenging yet necessary for accurate outcomes. 

3. Bring a List of All the Medications You’re Currently Taking

It’s important to bring a list of all the medications you’re currently taking to your annual physical exam. This list includes all prescription and over-the-counter medications and any supplements you’re taking.

4. Be Prepared to Discuss Any Changes in Your Health Since Your Last Visit

Be transparent with your doctor about any changes in your health since your last visit. This includes changes in weight, new or worsening symptoms, medications, and the like. It could make all the difference in uncovering a problem early on.

5. Bring Results of Medical Tests 

Bring the results of your medical tests to their annual physical exam. This is important because it can help your doctor find problems before they get worse. 

6. Bring a Current List of Your Immunizations

Adults must also be vaccinated, especially if they have higher risks for certain diseases. These vaccines can help protect us from severe and even life-threatening illnesses.

So, bring a current list of your immunizations to your next AP exam so your doctor can ensure you’re up-to-date on your vaccinations.

7. Follow Your Doctor’s Recommendations

Your doctor may give you some recommendations for how to improve your health. Recommendations may vary, from quitting smoking, eating a healthier diet, exercising more, getting a flu shot, or recommending you see a specialist for more extensive examinations

Following your doctor’s advice can help you improve your health and prevent serious health problems.


Annual physical exams are necessary for maintaining overall health and well-being. By following a few simple tips and preparing for the exam, you can ensure that your visit is successful.

Check out Family Medicine and Wellness if you need physical exam services in Troy, MI. We have everything you need, from emergency care to long-term treatment to routine screenings and checkups. You can contact us at Family Medicine and Wellness to set up an appointment.