It only becomes more and more important to be proactive in regard to our health and wellbeing as we age. And one of the best things you can do to ensure good health as the years go on is to make time each year for an annual physical exam. Sometimes referred to as a wellness visit, an annual physical can be an excellent way to achieve a better understanding your health status and what you can do to promote a healthier lifestyle moving forward. An annual physical appointment is preventative in nature.

Your annual physical appointment also provides a perfect opportunity to speak with your healthcare provider about any questions, curiosities, or concerns you may have regarding the state of your physical and mental wellbeing. It’s common during this type of visit for your doctor to ask questions about certain lifestyle behaviors including diet, exercise regimen, sexual activity, use of tobacco products or alcohol, and more. Additionally, your annual physical is often the time to make sure your vaccination status is up to date.

Although the specifics of a physical can vary from doctor-to-doctor, most patients can expect to undergo the following basic tests during their visit:

  • Basic vitals including height, weight, hearing, vision, blood pressure, heart rate, body mass index (BMI), and an ears, nose, and throat check.
  • Screenings for certain types of cancer including prostate exams for men and breast exams for women.
  • Blood testing to gauge cholesterol levels and for potential diseases like diabetes and thyroid issues.

Keep in mind that there is a difference between your annual physical and a regular office visit. Unlike a physical that is a general wellness assessment, an office visit is an opportunity to discuss specific health problems (new or existing) or symptoms that you have been experiencing. During an office visit, we may order tests to be performed, prescribe medications, provide advice and recommendations, or possibly refer you to a specialist for additional care. Visits other than the annual physical will be considered office visits that can be subject to deductibles and/or insurance co-pays.

Although some people may believe that there is no need for an annual physical exam, we could not disagree more. We strongly believe that undergoing yearly physicals can pay serious dividends for our patient’s long-term health while also helping to strengthen the bond between our healthcare providers and our patients. For more information or if you would like to schedule an annual physical exam today, please contact Family Practice Center. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional health tips, news, and more.