Living Well

New Year’s Resolution: Wellness Visits

Kirk Bonner, MD
New Year’s Resolution: Wellness Visits

In addition to visiting your health care provider when you are ill or need an exam, routine wellness can play an important role in maintaining your overall health. As you step into the New Year and assess your health goals and consider ways you can create a routine to maintain a healthy lifestyle, start with a visit to your primary care or family physician.

The average person should consider the frequency of their wellness visits by age and any health risks discovered during their initial visit. During your exam, you are going to want to discuss with your primary care physician how often you should be seen and what tests you’ll need.

checking blood pressureFor example, everyone is recommended to have initially three blood pressure, eye, and body mass index exams. Following these exams, your primary care physician will then assess what other testing and screenings are recommended. If you’re young and healthy, you might not need another appointment for some time, if your family history and past medical history is within normal limits. Health and life-threatening conditions could also be immediately detected during your initial exam and steps to treat them can be taken following this discovery.

If you’re a new Medicare beneficiary, it’s common to have what is known as a “Welcome to Medicare Physical.” This is a one-time preventive physical exam which includes a thorough review of your health and education about the services you may need to receive such as screenings, shots, and other forms of medical care.

Here are a few tips when planning for and attending your wellness visit:

  • Write down your questions in advance to ensure you do not forget to mention something important
  • Consider bringing someone with you to serve as an advocate and a second set of ears to listen to the medical advice your primary care physician provides
  • Bring your health records
  • Bring a list of your medications and supplements
  • Discuss any physical changes, signs, or symptoms you may be experiencing and any changes in your abilities
  • Document your numbers after your exam
  • Inquire about screenings for prostate, breast, and colon and when you should be screened
  • Get needed immunizations
  • Ask for advice on how to improve your health and maintain a healthy lifestyle

To make an appointment with our Primary Care Center please call 504-962-6120.

To make an appointment with our Family Medicine Clinic please call 504-962-6363.

Dr. Kirk BonnerAbout Dr. Bonner

A New Orleans native, Dr. Bonner attended Loyola University and Tulane University. He graduated from Tulane Medical School and completed residency at Ochsner Clinic Foundation in both Internal Medicine and Family Practice. Dr. Bonner has been clinical faculty at Tulane Medical School and the University of Queensland Medical School. He has a strong interest in the control of hypertension and diabetes and the practice of preventative medicine. Dr. Bonner has been practicing in the local medical community for many years.

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