The Importance of an Annual Physical

Elderly woman getting her blood pressure taken by her doctor at her annual physical.

Everyone should get an annual physical. There are many benefits to having a regular check-in with your doctor, for both your physical and mental health. This is an opportunity to voice any concerns and learn about any steps you should take to improve your health. Most insurances cover the cost of an annual physical. If not, there are resources available that can help. At Center for Family Medicine, we believe every person deserves high-quality care.



Benefits of an Annual Physical

An annual physical has several benefits:

  1. Improves your relationship with your primary care provider
  2. Reassures you that you are still in good health
  3. Ensures that you get routine screening that can find diseases before you develop symptoms
  4. Helps make sure you get your needed immunizations
  5. Helps you keep up with healthy habits, such as diet and exercise

Your annual physical is part of your routine health screening, so is preventive as well as just a “check-up.” Some argue that annual exams are not needed for most young and healthy people, however, they remain a good way to make sure that you have a good relationship with your doctor.

What Happens at an Annual Physical?

At your annual physical, your doctor will check your medical history. You will update them on anything that has changed in the last year. They will check your vaccination status, and make a note of any vaccinations you received at another location, such as a pharmacy, as they may or may not be transmitted.

Your doctor will check your vitals, including your blood pressure, heart and respiration rate and temperature. These numbers help determine if you are at-risk for any illnesses, such as high blood pressure.

The doctor will do a physical exam including your heart, lungs, head and neck, abdominal exam, etc. There are also specific examinations of reproductive anatomy, such as a testicular exam or a breast exam. These are important for both men and women to screen for cancer and other diseases.

Your doctor may also order lab tests as needed, which might include a lipid panel, complete blood count, or checking your blood sugar. There are no standard tests. Discuss with your doctor what is right for you based on your concerns.

At Center for Family Medicine, we offer annual physicals with one of our professionals. Contact us to schedule your appointment today.