During childhood, you visited your family healthcare provider for regular physicals, exams, and vaccinations. But many people enter adulthood and do not continue these practices, even though it’s a crucial piece in monitoring overall wellbeing. If you haven’t scheduled a visit with your family healthcare professional, learn more about what will happen during this physical and the types of examinations you can expect.
During an annual physical exam, your family healthcare provider will begin by evaluating your vitals (blood pressure, temperature, pulse) and performing a comprehensive assessment of your overall health based on gender, age, height, weight, and any specific risk factors you may have. This will typically mean a thorough check of your family’s medical history to determine if you have an elevated risk of developing conditions like cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
For adults between the ages of 40-60, the medical provider may also order blood tests to examine your cholesterol and blood sugar, and others if you are having symptoms they would like to explore further. During this visit, your medical provider will also perform or recommend certain screenings based on your age and gender.
These appointments enable your family healthcare professional to not only assess your overall health status but also make recommendations to prevent a potential condition from occurring. For example, high blood pressure and cholesterol are linked to cardiovascular disease but, when discovered early enough, may be corrected with lifestyle modification or medication. Additionally, this visit gives you a chance to discuss other preventative care methods with your medical provider, including immunizations for conditions like shingles or the seasonal flu.
But probably the most important reason to schedule an annual physical with a healthcare provider of your choice is that it gives the patient a chance to form a relationship with a medical professional. This relationship is one of trust, and allows the medical provider a chance to counsel about preventative behaviors, and lifestyle choices that can affect health. If people have a relationship with a provider, they are more apt to make an appointment to see them if a health concern comes up, or to request advice when debating a health-related decision. Seeing someone you already have established a connection with is a lot less stressful when you really need targeted medical care.
Don’t wait for a crisis to happen before you find a good family practice provider. Schedule your annual physical today and begin a relationship with a medical professional you trust.