Time magazine captured a phenomenon many Americans are curious about and continue to ponder each year: Do I Really Need an Annual Physical? To sum up the article’s advice, which was based on research from physicians and medical professionals, it suggested that an annual physical is imperative to those with on-going health problems as well as individuals with a family history of disease.
According to Harvard Medical School, the need for an annual physical may depend on the patient and their needs. They suggest that patients should seek care when they need it and as often as they need it. So does that indicate that a physical is obsolete? Not necessarily!
Why an Annual Physical is Needed
There’s no requirement for a physical but there is an implication that you should go in for one at least once a year. While this appointment won’t reduce your risk of getting sick or minimize any current conditions you’re suffering with, it can provide you with the information you need to know in regard to your health. The main purpose is to use this time to check in with your body and have a medical professional provide you with a synopsis of how your body is performing.
What Goes on During a Physical
When you come in for a physical, if this is your first time visiting our office, our doctor will review your medical history as well as any recent conditions you’ve dealt with. Based on your age, personal health, and family history, the exam will be a time to see where you stand in terms of those factors.
Our doctor will examine the following your eyes, nose, ears, and throat. They will also listen to your heart and lungs to check for normal breathing. In some cases, blood will be drawn for different laboratory tests, which can reveal whether you have complications in your kidneys, liver, immune system, and other areas. If any irregularities are detected, our doctor may recommend additional screenings such as for diabetes and thyroid. Additionally, we will recommend other exams based on your sex. For example, as female, we may recommend a mammogram, pap smear, and/or an osteoporosis screening. For males, we may recommend a prostate cancer screening, testicular exam, as well as a cholesterol test.
Moreover, if our doctor believes there is a specific area of your body that could benefit from a further examination, a focused physical exam will be recommended. During this exam, that certain part of your body will be further examined to confirm the suspected diagnosis.
Is Once a Year Enough?
Seeing your general physician once a year may not be sufficient if you are suffering from a chronic condition. It’s important to communicate with your doctor regarding any unusual symptoms you’ve been feeling prior to the physical.
A yearly physical is a good time to check in with your body. It also serves as a good reminder of the importance of taking time to focus on your health, especially if you don’t go to the doctor’s office regularly.
Contact Primary Care El Paso to Learn More
If you or your child is in need of an affordable physical from a compassionate doctor, contact us today. We accept both appointments and walk-ins. Let us know how we can help you!