We stronglybelieves that preventive health care is essential in taking care of your well-being. From monitoring the changesyou undergo each year to the early detection of developing medical concerns, our annual physical services allow us to evaluate your overall health that may serve as the basis for the medical care you may require in the future.
What is Annual Physical?
Our annual physical exam allows you and your provider to assess how you are doing health-wise. You may expect the following on your visit:
- Calculating your body mass index by measuring your weight and height to check for chronic illnesses like heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and others.
- Discussing with you about your medical history, and existing or potential health concerns.
- Checking and recording your vital signs assignificant changes in it from year to year may indicate the presence of an underlying medical condition.
- Performing a physical examinationincluding visually examining your eyes, ears, and throat for any irregularities; checking your heartbeat and lungs to detect irregularities that may indicate a heart or respiratory problem; checking for lymph nodes, lumps; check your organs and testing your reflex responses.
- Develop a screening plan such as a colonoscopy, blood tests, bone density screening, cancer screening, etc.
- Reviewing your vaccination record to determine if you’re due for or can benefit from any vaccines. You may also receive your annual flu shot during this visit.
- Managing your prescriptions ensure you’re not at risk for any hazardous interactions and you are taking proper doses of your prescriptions.
- Providing suggestions on reducing your disease risk tailored to your unique needs that may include lifestyle modifications, physical activity recommendations, supplementation suggestions, recommendations for specialist visits, and more.
- Depending on your age and health status, your doctor may also perform cholesterol testing, blood sugar testing, and screening for hepatitis C during your annual physical.
During wellness visit, additional gender-specific tests may be required. For women, it may include a brief visual and physical breast exam, a mammogram for women over the age of 40, a visual and physical pelvic exam, a pap smear and HPV testing while complete groin and testicular exam a prostate screening and a hernia exam may be required for men depending on their medical history.
It’s important to note that these exams are not typically included in a routine annual physical. These screenings serve as preventive and diagnostic tools to help doctors keep track of any changes that may indicate the presence of an underlying condition.
What is not included in Annual Physical?
It is better to know what is covered ahead of time to determine what you would like to discuss with your provider during your annual physical visit. Sick visits whichinvolve a discussion of an illness or symptoms, from an infection to abdominal pain, and your doctor recommends care or a treatment plan and discussion, treatment or prescription of medications for chronic illnesses or conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes are areas not covered by annual physical and may require copay or deductible.
We recommend scheduling a separate appointment to discuss any other topic, but we may also discuss and address it during your wellness visit if you do not wish to schedule another appointment.
Why Do I Need an Annual Physical?
Annual physical visits allow your doctor an opportunity to establish a relationship with you that may help in creating a medical plan uniquely for you.Annual physicals also allow your physician to detect potential health issues and recommend or implement preventive measures to maintain or improve your overall well-being.
How Long Does an Annual Physical Take?
Generally, an annual physical exam requires about 20 – 30 minutes of your time. Although not required, we recommend doing your blood work a week before the office visit. This is to allow the laboratory results to be available prior to your visit and discuss it with your provider.
What Can Be Diagnosed with an Annual Physical?
Depending on the type of testing your physician performs, a physical may alert you to the presence of or risk for a variety of health problems, including:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Thyroid problems
- Osteoporosis or osteopenia
- Reproductive system irregularities
- Respiratory issues
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Organ problems
- Neurological conditions
- Skin conditions
- If your doctor detects the presence of a health issue or believes you may be at risk for developing a specific condition. They may refer you to a specialist for more in-depth testing.
What Happens Once My Results Are Ready?
After your appointment, your doctor will provide you with a summary of your visit that recaps everything you and your physician discussed. Your provider will keep a record of what you reviewed during your physical and will refer to it at your next physical exam.
If you require additional exams or testing, your physician will interpret your results when they’re available. They may schedule a follow-up visit to go over your test findings, provide treatment, or make recommendations for further care.