A yearly wellness physical is important for every member of your family. And it becomes doubly so as you get into your 40s and beyond. "That's the age things start to happen," says Dr. Anthony Komaroff, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and editor-in-chief of the Harvard Health Letter. "People in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and older have symptoms that could be worrisome and should be looked at." But what, exactly, constitutes a thorough health screening? Depending on your age, here is what your doctor should be doing at a minimum.
If you think that getting ready for a doctor's visit means grabbing a paperback for the waiting room, you might not be getting the most from your visits. An impressive body of medical research going back at least 30 years indicates that a well-prepared patient is a healthier patient, says Dr. Marie Savard, an internist and author of How to Save Your Own Life. Here's how to get the most from your next visit to the doctor.