Committee opinion No. 534: well-woman visit

Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Aug;120(2 Pt 1):421-4. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3182680517.


The annual health assessment (“annual examination”) is a fundamental part of medical care and is valuable in promoting prevention practices, recognizing risk factors for disease, identifying medical problems, and establishing the clinician–patient relationship. The annual health assessment should include screening, evaluation and counseling, and immunizations based on age and risk factors. The interval for specific individual services and the scope of services provided may vary in different ambulatory care settings. The performance of a physical examination is a key part of an annual health assessment visit, and the components of that examination may vary depending on the patient’s age, risk factors, and physician preference. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists explains the need for annual assessments and provides guidelines regarding some important elements of the annual examination; specifically, when to perform pelvic examinations in asymptomatic women, including when to start internal pelvic and speculum examinations, and when to initiate formal clinical breast examinations.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Genital Diseases, Female / diagnosis*
  • Gynecological Examination / standards*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening*