The two primary benefits of having an annual wellness physical exam are the opportunity to have health screenings to check for early warning signs of dangerous health conditions and the chance to develop a relationship with your physician.
Many dangerous health conditions like hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, sexually transmitted diseases, and cancer don’t cause any noticeable symptoms in their early — and more treatable — stages. The routine blood tests and health screenings you have at your annual physical exam can reveal signs of these conditions so you can make lifestyle changes and get the medical treatments you need to improve and protect your health before you start to experience disruptive symptoms.
Having routine physical exams with the same physician also allows you to build a relationship with your doctor. You benefit from this because you can learn to trust your doctor and feel comfortable asking questions about your health and well-being. And as your doctor gets to know you and keeps detailed medical records, they will notice changes in your health and wellness.
While you may associate physical exams with getting poked and prodded by your doctor and having to provide blood and urine samples, your annual checkup is an opportunity to talk to a doctor about your health and well-being. You have a physical exam, including blood pressure screenings and height and weight monitoring. Your doctor listens to your heart and lungs and looks into your throat, eyes, and ears.
But more importantly, your doctor talks to you about your health and well-being. They ask if you’ve noticed any changes in your health or if your diet and exercise habits have changed. They ask about what else is going on with your life, including how things are going at home and at work.
You can also ask questions. Your doctor can provide expert, customized advice on how you can improve your health. They offer support to improve your diet, quit smoking, or manage chronic health conditions.
Your doctor recommends specific screenings depending on your age, sex, and personal and family medical history. For example, you should have a standard blood panel to check your cholesterol and glucose levels, and a member of the medical team will check your blood pressure.
Depending on other factors, your doctor may suggest screenings for different kinds of cancer, bone density, or mental health concerns like depression and anxiety.
If you’re due for an annual wellness physical exam, call to make an appointment.