How important are Annual Physicals?
If your doctor at ProMed Clinics recommends that you come in for an annual physical, chances are that it isn't because something is wrong. Unlike other doctor's appointments, which are generally made as the result of worrying symptoms or conditions, annual physical exams are usually meant as more of a precautionary measure.
The Purpose of an Annual Physical Exam
Annual physical exams serve several important purposes. They help allow doctors to find and diagnose any new health conditions early, improving your chances of treatment success. They allow doctors to better assess your risk of future health problems. They encourage a healthier lifestyle, and they help foster a better doctor-patient relationship.
While there is some controversy over the necessity of annual physical exams for people who are otherwise in good health, doctors and patients who place a high value on health and preventative medicine typically love them.
What to Expect at an Annual Physical Exam
When you come in for a physical exam at ProMed Clinics, you will begin by filling out a few health history forms if we don't have them on file already. The nurse will then take your vital signs, including your height, weight and blood pressure.
Once the doctor comes in, he or she will begin the examination, which may cover parts of your body including your head, neck, heart, lungs and abdomen. Your doctor will also note your general appearance and do any necessary neurological or dermatological assessments as well.
Your annual physical exam is the perfect time to have any routine screenings done. Recommended screenings vary by age, gender and health history, but may include a colonoscopy, mammogram or pap smear.
How to Prepare for an Annual Physical Exam
The more prepared you are for your physical, the smoother the process is likely to go. Come prepared with your health history, a list of all of your current medications and supplements, and a list of any symptoms you have been experiencing. Bring the names and contact information for other doctors you are seeing or have seen recently as well as a list of questions you would like to ask. Physical exams generally move pretty quickly and if you neglect to write down your questions in advance, you may forget.
In addition to bringing all relevant health information, you will also want to dress in comfortable clothing with easy-to-remove shoes. Avoid excessive jewelry or makeup. Be sure to arrive early so you have time to find the office and to fill out your health history forms before your appointment time.
While an annual physical exam may be just a matter of habit for most people, you never know when an annual exam will save your life. Don't miss out on this important visit. Call and schedule your appointment at ProMed Clinics today.
Are you due for your annual exam? Schedule an appointment with ProMed Clinics and see how we help with your preventative care (340) 773-0007!