Staying on track with your annual check-ups may be the number one most important thing you can do for your health. By undergoing annual physical exams, you ensure that your health and wellness are on track and that you address any health complications before they become serious. If you are still not convinced on the importance of an annual check-up, this expert guide will teach you why annual check-ups matter, how often you need one, how to prepare for a physical, and much more.
Finding the right clinic for your annual check-up might be challenging. If you are looking for a reliable and safe place to maximize your health, we recommend going to routine, comprehensive physical exams.
So, what are the benefits of an annual check-up? What does the entire visit look like? Keep on scrolling to find out.
Why Do I Need an Annual Check-Up?
You might already know that getting an annual check-up is crucial for your well-being, but why is that exactly? Isn’t going to the doctor when you feel ill enough? On the contrary, when you only visit your healthcare provider when something is out of order, you often minimize your chances of a full recovery. For example, early disease detection may delay or prevent the onset of a more serious illness and boost your chances of successful recovery. Different screening tests may help your doctor identify health complications before more symptoms arise.
On the flip side, if you skip your pyhisicals, early detection of a disease might not be possible. If you are searching for the best place for your annual physical exam, Corus Advantage affiliated provider can help you stay on track with your health and can get all of your questions and concerns addressed. This way, you’ll lessen your chances of severe complications in the future.
Additionally, according to health experts, an annual physical exam is an excellent chance to address any concerns that may be bothering you, whether it is a health issue or a question that you may want to be confirmed or answered by a trained doctor.
Getting Physicals: How Often Do I Need It?
How often you should be getting a physical varies by person, and medical experts usually have varying opinions. If your health is optimal and you are between the ages of 20 and 30, getting a physical every two years could be enough. However, if you are older and have an underlying medical condition, you want to make more frequent appointments.
If you are over the age of 40, medical professionals recommend getting a physical regularly or every year.
How Can I Prepare for My Routine Annual Exam?
For many people, the thought of an annual physical exam may bring up feelings of anxiety or worry. Preparing for your doctor’s appointment properly may help you feel more confident and at ease. Here are some ways to prepare your mind and body for an annual physical exam:
- Think of questions to ask: During a routine physical exam, you may feel overwhelmed with screening tests and blood work. So, it can be easy to forget what’s been on your mind to ask a health expert. We recommend writing down any questions you may have before arriving at the doctor’s office.
- Schedule other appointments beforehand: If you know that you were due for a mammogram, blood work, or any other screenings, take care of these appointments before arriving for your routine physical exam. This way, you can bring your test results and the medical professional can review them for you.
- Keep an inventory of your medical history: Things often change from the last time we had our routine physical exam. Write down any changes you notice, such as getting a vaccine, having surgery, receiving new diagnoses, or similar circumstances.
- Mention any medications: Always tell your doctor if you are taking any medications (both prescription and over-the-counter drugs). If you are taking any vitamins or supplements, you’ll want to be transparent with your doctor.
- Be honest with your doctor: Lastly, honesty between the patient and the provider is vital if you want to receive the most accurate results.
What Can I Expect from a Complete Physical?
Now that you are equipped with the right tools to prepare for your doctor’s appointment properly, let us discuss what happens once you step inside the office. Remember, each appointment will be unique per person, and the process will depend on your doctor and your preferences and needs.
Usually, every patient receives a complete physical. However, some individuals may require additional treatment and check-ups due to medical conditions and other variables.
Below, find some processes that you can expect from physicals:
- Checking your vital signs: Your doctor will take your measurements, including your weight and height. They will also take your pulse and blood pressure, usually more than once, for accuracy. Often, if the patient has a history of blood pressure abnormalities, the doctor will recheck vital signs, even after a nurse has already checked them.
- Reviewing your organ systems: Your doctor will ask you questions about your general health and body (Keep in mind that some may be random and even at times uncomfortable to answer). Rest assured that doctors bring up these questions for a reason. For instance, your doctor may ask you about the color of your urine, if you have any suspicious moles, or if you experience unusual aches and shortness of breath.
- Performing a thorough exam: A routine general exam involves taking your pulse, listening to your lungs and heart, checking the ears and mouth, feeling the lymph nodes, conducting a detailed breast exam, examining the skin, and checking the extremities for any swelling.
What is My Doctor Going to Ask Me During an Annual Exam?
There are several questions that you can expect from your doctor at your annual check-up. Since your doctor’s appointment is the perfect chance to receive expert advice and guidance, we suggest being honest and transparent about any concerns you may have. Here are some topics and questions you may expect at your next check-up:
- Do you use any substances?
Your doctor may ask you whether you are using and abusing substances such as drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Although answering these questions honestly may be mentally challenging, remember that your doctor is not there to judge you.
- What does your family history look like?
Your doctor will ask you about any previous medical conditions in your family, such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. For example, it’s important to let your doctor know if your father is dealing with sleep disturbances or if your uncle was recently diagnosed with schizophrenia.
- How is your life going?
You may also be asked random questions such as “how is your marriage?”, “Are you still going to the gym?” and “do you still work at your job?”. The answers will help your doctor look at your current mental state and life stage.
How Can I Book My Upcoming Annual Check-Up?
Your healthcare provider can give you expert guidance for a healthier life and possible solutions for any medical concerns. Besides advice and tips, you may also receive medications or be referred to a specialist. You should also discuss the date of your next doctor’s appointment to make sure you stay on track.
Reach out to a Corus Advantage affiliated physician because you deserve the best that healthcare has to offer.