The adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” may apply perfectly well to a power tool or even a plan that’s always worked well, but when it comes to your health, regular check-ups are a must. Yearly exams, or well visits, are a chance for you and your doctor to talk about any concerns you may have, discuss what routine screenings you might need to schedule, and other health-related issues.
Dr. Shamala offers well visits to her patients and encourages them to schedule one each year. It’s an ideal opportunity to ask questions and build your relationship with her since you’re both partners in your care.
Can’t I just skip my annual well visit if I’m feeling fine?
We don’t advise it, because you deserve this chance to have Dr. Shamala’s undivided attention, catch up on health matters — even things you may not feel important might be — and have her assess your overall physical and emotional health.
A critical reason that Dr. Shamala encourages the wellness exam is that it’s preventive. In other words, by seeing her annually, she can take note of anything that has changed with your health since the previous year, and catch issues before they become problems, such as removing a mole so it’s not problematic later on, or referring you to a specialist if heart problems run in your family, for example.
What happens during my wellness exam?
When you visit us for your wellness exam, Dr. Shamala records data like your height, weight, and evaluates your vital signs, which includes your blood pressure, respiratory rate (the number of breaths you take per minute), your temperature, and your heart rate.
She also discusses your personal medical history and asks whether you’ve experienced any changes in your health over the past year. She touches upon your family medical history as well, so she can be aware of any potential genetic disorders to watch for, and to analyze your risk for health conditions that tend to run in families, from high blood pressure to certain types of cancer.
Dr. Shamala also puts an emphasis on skin health, and since so many of us who live in the Los Gatos area enjoy the outdoors so much, she prioritizes checking your skin for any abnormalities and talking with you about sun safety, just one of many healthy lifestyle habits that you should be incorporating into your life.
Others include a healthy diet, daily exercise, and refraining from smoking. If you’re having trouble with any of these, Dr. Shamala is happy to counsel and equip you with tools to make changes so you can live a healthier life. The well visit is also a good time to consider whether you’re up-to-date for any vaccinations that you’re due to receive (they’re not just for kids).
Additionally, if you’re at risk for certain conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, she ensures that your blood sugar and cholesterol levels are measured and next steps are determined. WIth regard to tests like these that require blood work, we make it easy for you — we’ve got a lab right here on site and you can get your results promptly, often the same day you visit.
Your well visit is about more than your physical health
Dr. Shamala sees you not merely as a set of symptoms, but as a whole and complex individual. This is why your mental health is also considered in every well visit. She discusses your emotional wellbeing, what life stresses or transitions you might be dealing with, and how to manage them.
Especially within the last year, people of all ages have experienced anxiety and depression triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, and Dr. Shamala is someone you can speak with freely about how you’re doing. She’s happy to refer you to a mental health counselor if you’re coping with these issues.
Everything Dr. Shamala discovers at your well visit contributes to the treatment plan she devises for you to address any health condition, whether newly emerging or something she has treated before. It’s also a roadmap that you both can consult down the road, at your next well visit.
Give yourself the gift of a well visit by calling our office to schedule one, or reach out to us through our website.