Don't wait until you're sick to pencil in your annual visit. Not only is it difficult to get in right away (most docs are booked weeks in advance), but you and your physician will be less likely to focus on screenings and other important preventive care, says Denise Sur, M.D., chief of staff at Santa Monica's UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital. "If you come for your annual visit and you've got a long list of things you want addressed, it ends up distracting us from what really should be your annual take-care-of-yourself visit," she says. Try scheduling your annual appointment instead around a specific event such as your birthday or a holiday. Or aim for sometime in January and December, suggests Angela U. Tucker, M.D., clinical assistant professor of family medicine at The Ohio State University Medical Center. Those are typically slower months at doctors' offices, so it will be easier to get in and you'll get more attention during the appointment.