Check-Ups You Need at Every Age

The Year Ahead: Check-Ups You Need at Every Age

New year, new check-ups. January is the perfect time to schedule all essential doctor visits for the year—it ensures you don’t forget about any and removes the stress of last-minute scheduling. But which appointments should be scheduled? While it varies from person to person, the following will provide an idea of the ones to consider, depending on your age.

In your 20s and 30s:

  • Women and Men
    • Schedule an annual visit with your primary care physician to get necessary screenings done. The doctor will check things like your blood pressure and weight and go over anything else that may be out of the ordinary.
    • Make a yearly appointment with a dermatologist to have your skin examined from head-to-toe. The doctor will take note of any concerning moles or spots and remove any that require treatment.
    • Oral health is another key piece to staying healthy. People with little risk of cavities or gum disease should still see the dentist twice yearly for cleanings. Those with a higher risk of dental disease might need to visit more often. Be sure to consult with your dentist to ensure the right check-up schedule for your needs.
  • Women Only
    • An annual visit to the gynecologist helps keep track of reproductive health through routine tests like a pelvic exam and pap smear.
  • Men Only
    • Your primary care physician may recommend that you visit a urologist annually to check your reproductive and prostate health.

In your 40s and 50s:

  • Women and Men
    • Staying up-to-date on all immunizations reduces the risk of contracting serious illnesses like the flu or hepatitis. You can receive necessary vaccinations during your annual physical with your primary care doctor or at a retail health clinic. For the latest immunization schedule, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.
    • In this age range, you should talk with your doctor about scheduling a colonoscopy with a gastroenterologist. A colonoscopy is used to check the colon for any abnormalities that may cause colon cancer. Men and women should schedule their first colonoscopy at age 50 and repeat it every 10 years unless otherwise indicated by your gastroenterologist.
  • Women Only
    • Consult your primary care physician or gynecologist about mammograms. Beginning at age 45, you’ll likely begin scheduling them regularly as a part of your annual health care routine. Schedule a check-in every year until the age of 55, when you may be able to switch to every two years, upon consulting with your physician.
  • Men Only
    • If you have high blood pressure or a family history of heart disease, it’s important to consider adding a cardiologist appointment to your annual doctor visits. Talk to your primary care doctor to see if this is right for you.

60s and older:

  • Women and Men
    • Continue with your annual physical exams and check-ups. You may also want to consult a specialized geriatric doctor or an orthopedist to keep an eye on specific conditions that older adults face, such as arthritis, heart disease and osteoporosis.
    • Undergoing regular hearing and vision exams every two to three years is necessary as you get older. Those with known issues, may need more frequent tests.

Planning your children’s medical schedule too? Make sure you check in with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the recommended vaccination schedule based on your child’s age (birth to 6 years old or 7 to 18 years old) and always take them in for annual visits to the pediatrician. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan PPO and Blue Care Network HMO members can find care providers and book appointments at bcbsm.com/findcare.

For more information on maintaining your medical schedule annually, check out these blogs:

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