Perhaps you rarely get sick or assume you are young and healthy so there is no need to visit your family doctor yearly for a physical. That is a common misconception. Regardless of your age or stage of life, an annual physical is essential for your ongoing health. Visiting a primary care physician for routine preventative care is a great way to identify and treat health issues early.
What is an Annual Physical?
Also called a check-up or yearly exam, a physical is a health examination that is performed yearly with a primary care doctor. Children often need physicals yearly for school, athletics, and camps. The routine is continued into adulthood to maintain overall health and wellness.
The Purpose of a Physical Exam
During a physical exam, your doctor determines that status of your general health. It is also a chance for you as the patient to review any questions, concerns, or problems you may have. The goal of annual physicals is to:
- Check for possible diseases or problems so they can be treated early
- Identify any potential issues that may cause problems in the future
- Update immunizations
- Ensure you are making healthy lifestyle choices
- Build a relationship with your primary physician
What to Expect
A yearly physical includes an overall physical check of your body as well as a conversation between the patient and physician. Your medical history is updated with any current symptoms or complaints, changes to your family history, vaccination needs, and lifestyle habits.
Timing is Everything
When routine physicals are scheduled every year, you and your doctor can stay on top of your overall health. Issues that may cause future medical concerns can be addressed early before they escalate into larger problems. The goal is to protect your health. During flu season, and now the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important to keep your immune system and your body healthy.
Assessment of Overall Health
During a physical, your primary doctor assesses your overall health and wellness. In some cases, routine blood tests may be done to determine the health of your organs and systems. A health assessment identifies a patient’s needs and lays out the necessary treatment plan. Health assessments are done to detect diseases early in patients who may otherwise look and feel well.
Shots and vaccinations are not just for children. Staying up-to-date on immunizations helps prevent adults from getting or spreading serious diseases. Seasonally, flu vaccines are important for all patients, but especially for pregnant women, older adults, and patients with underlying or chronic medical conditions. In addition, a TDAP or Td vaccine is administered every ten years to protect patients against tetanus, whooping cough, and diphtheria.
Update Changes in Medical History
When you visit a doctor, you often have medical history forms to complete. These forms are not just about you, but also your parents and grandparents. By including your family’s medical history, your physician gains a more accurate insight into your health. If any conditions run in your family, your doctor is now aware of potential risks to your future health. If changes occur in your family’s medical history, be sure to update your information the next time you visit the doctor.
Blue Skies Family Medicine
Blue Skies Family Medicine is a direct primary care practice in Mooresville that offers 24/7 access to a primary care physician, unrushed appointments, and a personal approach to medical care.
Establish a Relationship with Your Primary Care Doctor
A good doctor-patient relationship can improve your overall health. With a more accessible doctor and open communication, patients’ concerns are heard and addressed early and completely. Routine physicals are an important part of establishing and maintaining that relationship.
Stay Healthy During Covid-19
As we are in the middle of a pandemic and flu season will soon be starting, it is important to keep your immune system healthy. Now is not the time to avoid your routine physical. Follow the CDC’s recommendations for social distancing, wearing face masks, and hand washing to avoid potential exposure to Covid-19.
In addition, we are taking precautions and are avoiding having too many patients in the office at one time. This ensures you can safely get your annual physical to check your overall health.