Should You Have an Annual Physical Exam?

January 3,2019

Based on your specific risk factors, such as age, family medical history, and lifestyle, it is prudent for your primary care physician to make an annual assessment of your overall health and wellness. In addition to providing proactive screenings for serious diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease, a thorough physical examination allows doctors to answer their patient's questions as well as to help steer them in the direction of a healthy lifestyle. It also furnishes a family doctor or internist with an opportunity to document any abnormalities or areas of concern for future medical reference.

With today's emphasis on preventive healthcare, it does not make sense to wait until you're sick to visit a board-certified physician. Our doctors will likely order basic lab tests, blood work, wellness screenings, or imaging to help determine your overall health. It is also an excellent time for you and the doctor to discuss possible risk factors, medication schedules, dietary and exercise habits, age-appropriate vaccinations, and other medical conditions that affect morbidity and mortality. Moreover, annual exams are free for most patients as preventive exams fall under our nation's Affordable Care Act for health insurance carriers.

Most primary care physicians feel that the annual physical exam is an opportune time for more serious health issues to be discovered earlier on. Both male and female patients can forget to mention a lingering cough or unusual skin lesion when the doctor's visit involves a sudden ailment. Although some medical experts say annual exams have no proven track record for success, other physicians reference dozens of cases where they feel a routine exam was worth its weight in gold for an unsuspecting patient. If you or a loved one need an annual checkup, work physical, school or sports physical or gynecological exam, contact PrimeMED at 904-269-0500 to schedule an appointment with a board-certified physician in Jacksonville, St. Augustine, or Orange Park.