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Expert Perspectives

What Happens in an Annual Health Assessment?

By Medcan

A step-by-step guide to what happens when you visit us for your yearly physical.

At Medcan, we offer a wide range of programs and services to help you set and achieve your goals. Our signature program is called the Annual Health Assessment, a deep dive into your current health status designed to provide you with a comprehensive picture of your baseline health and wellness. From the Annual Health Assessment, you will receive actionable health insights so that you can make informed, proactive decisions to help you live well, for life.

But what exactly happens during your Annual Health Assessment? To make sure you’re prepared for your day with us, here is a detailed breakdown of what you can expect.

What exactly is an Annual Health Assessment?

The Annual Health Assessment is the ultimate proactive health management tool. It’s designed to provide you with a detailed picture of your current wellness, and to determine your risk of developing disease in future. Armed with that knowledge, we then partner with you to develop lifestyle strategies to maximize the probability that you’ll live a long, healthy and active life.

My assessment appointment has been booked… now what?

Once you have booked an appointment with one of our Client Service Specialists, you will receive a detailed email closer to the date with all the information you need to prepare for the day. This includes:

  • Avoiding alcohol for at least 24 hours prior to your appointment
  • Refraining from strenuous exercise the day before
  • Fasting (no food or liquids) within 4 hours of your assessment
  • Packing gym clothes and running shoes
  • Bringing your immunization records (if you have them)

The week before your appointment, you will be emailed a questionnaire package to fill out at your convenience. Completed entirely online, the questionnaire will help fill in pertinent details of your health and wellness picture so that our physicians and specialists have the background information they need to best serve you when you come in for your appointment.

When you speak with your Client Service Specialist, you will have the chance to discuss adding any additional screening services based on your age and gender. Your representative will let you know what options are available to you. Some examples of additional screenings include Liver Health assessments and genetic testing.

How many tests are there in the Annual Health Assessment?

The Annual Health Assessment is the most comprehensive health assessment you’ll find performed on site in a single visit—with results delivered in person that same day. The Annual Health Assessment can feature up to 15 personalized screening tests depending on your age and sex. For your convenience, you can add additional screening services to your appointment day that align with your wellness goals and concerns.

How long does it take?

An Annual Health Assessment generally takes 5-6 hours. This gives you enough time to have all your tests and screenings performed, your samples analyzed at the lab, and your results discussed with you by your physician, all in one day. Between screening stations, you’re invited to rest in our lounge and enjoy delicious and nutritious snacks, breakfast/lunch, and hot and cold beverages, all curated by our Nourish by Medcan chef and registered dietitians.

What happens when you arrive at Medcan?

When you arrive on the day of your appointment, you will find yourself in one of our beautifully appointed locations in either downtown Toronto or Oakville. Brightly lit with views of either the city or Lake Ontario below you, our offices are designed with your comfort in mind. A friendly staff member will greet you at reception, sign you in, and show you to our locker room and shower facilities where you can change into workout attire and securely store your personal belongings. When you are all set, you can make your way to our comfortable lounge area.

What’s the first component of the Annual Health Assessment?

We’ve arranged the sequence of the Annual Health Assessment screenings for your convenience and comfort. By the time the Annual Health Assessment begins, we expect that you’ve refrained from food and drink for at least four hours, so we want to get you through the fasting-required screenings as quickly as possible. A dedicated staff member will meet you in the lounge and take you for your bloodwork and ultrasound. Performing these tests first minimizes fasting time and enables us to send samples to our in-house lab in time to discuss results with you before you leave.

Screenings performed:

  • Full panel blood and urinalysis: Checks for a broad range of indicators for heart disease, diabetes, and kidney, liver & thyroid function.
  • Complete abdominal ultrasound: Determines the health of your vital organs.

Snack time

After your fasting-required screenings, you will be led back to the lounge where you can enjoy a complimentary snack, or breakfast and tea/coffee (morning appointments)/lunch and beverages (afternoon appointments).

Review with nursing staff

When you’re ready, a member of our nursing staff will invite you to a comfortable office where they will conduct a review of your vaccination history, providing you with their insight into the vaccines you may be missing. The nurse also will conduct a breathing test, vision test, and hearing test.

Screenings performed:

  • Vaccination review: Identifies missing vaccinations and makes recommendations for future doses.
  • Respiratory test: Measures and assesses respiratory function, including lung capacity and airway restriction.
  • Vision test: Examines your ability to see objects at near and far distances (with the option to complete a full eye exam with an optometrist for an additional fee).
  • Hearing test: Assesses your hearing ability and identifies potential issues.

Nutrition review

A registered dietitian will discuss your current eating habits, as well as your own goals and/or concerns, based on the responses you’ve provided in the preliminary questionnaire. The dietitian will provide you with their recommendations for optimal nutrition based on your lifestyle, interests, and goals, and answer any questions you may have.

Fitness assessment

This is why you’re wearing workout attire. At this station, an experienced fitness and wellness expert leads you through a series of physical assessments. You will also have a chance to sit down with them and discuss your fitness interests and goals.

Screenings performed:

  • Full-stress testing station: Includes treadmill run to monitor heart rate and blood pressure
  • Ankle Brachial Index: Checks for hardening and narrowing of peripheral arteries
  • High Sensitivity Troponin-I test: Provides an excellent assessment of cardiovascular risk in those aged 35 and older
  • Muscle and joint assessment: Tests functional movement, risk of injury, and aspects of strength and flexibility
  • Anthropometric measurements: Offers key insights to help optimize body composition and body morphology

Break time

After your fitness assessment is complete, you’ll have the option to head to the locker rooms to shower and change.

Cognitive health and mental well-being

We’re strong believers in the mind-body wellness connection. You’ll next be invited to sit down with a registered social worker or psychotherapist to discuss your current mental health and wellness, as well as to have your memory and cognitive abilities assessed through a gamified assessment powered by Cambridge Brain Sciences.

Screenings performed:

  • Mind station: Uses a digitally derived test to measure your level of cognitive function as it relates to episodic memory, attention, executive function and working memory

Gender-specific screenings

Depending on your sex and age, some additional tests may be conducted.

Women’s health screenings performed:

  • Women aged 40 and older may receive a mammogram for the early detection of breast cancer and, if necessary, a breast ultrasound.
  • Our gynaecologic evaluation includes a pap test, pelvic exam, and, for women aged 50 and older, a transvaginal ultrasound to screen for cancer and abnormalities.
  • Bone mineral density screening helps to identify risk for osteoporosis in women aged 50 and older.

Men’s health screenings performed:

  • Men aged 40 and older will be screened for early detection of prostate cancer.
  • Bone mineral density screening helps to identify risk for osteoporosis in men aged 60 and older.

What happens during the physician review?

The 45-minute physician review and consultation is one of the most valuable aspects of our Annual Health Assessment. With a qualified expert physician, you’ll review your screening results to determine which areas of your health can be improved through lifestyle changes, and which may require further medical attention. In addition, your physician will conduct a routine head-to-toe examination.

This is your chance to share any concerns, questions, and goals you may have with a qualified physician. You’ll be given personalized recommendations on how to optimize your health, well-being, and quality of life based on your results from that day. If necessary, you’ll also be provided with prescriptions as well as suggestions for specialist referrals.

Should any urgent health concerns arise during your assessment, we’ll either book an appointment for you with a Medcan specialist or refer you to a preferred specialist in your community.

Where do I find all this information after my appointment?

Once your appointment is concluded, the secure myMedcan app provides access to your in-depth Annual Health Assessment report, written by your physician and summarizing everything you discussed. The myMedcan app also contains all the results from your lab work and screening assessments. All of the information can be downloaded to be shared with your primary health care practitioner. Most importantly, your physician can help you discuss your wellness goals, and describe ways that Medcan’s diverse ecosystem of clinicians, including weight management experts, registered dietitians and fitness trainers, can partner with you to help you achieve them.

Schedule your Annual Health Assessment now

At Medcan, we are committed to helping you live well, for life. To schedule your Annual Health Assessment, you can connect with a dedicated Customer Service Specialist at bookingteam@medcan.com or 416.350.3621.

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