Annual Check Ups: what you need to know.
I know children need an annual check-up, but do adults really need one as well?
Yes – an annual physical can help spot potential problems before they get serious and can also prevent future problems. It is important to keep track of key health measurements over time.
For most people, an annual visit is a preventive measure. By seeing your primary care physician every year, certain issues can be caught at an early stage when treatment is easier. In addition, most physicians encourage patients to ask questions about their own health and to express their concerns. At the end of a visit, the doctor and patient together usually agree on a plan of care for the patient to follow to address any health concerns.
Also if problems do develop in the future, a baseline record of your general health has been established. This will be very helpful if changes occur and comparisons need to be made to previous health issues.
What will happen during my visit?
Your doctor will review your medical history and the family’s medical history and ask questions about your lifestyle. These conversations can indicate possible risks for certain diseases or other medical conditions.
You will also receive a hands-on physical exam along with appropriate screening tests, based on your age, gender, health risks, and current condition.. For example, a blood pressure reading or glucose test to determine your risk for hypertension or diabetes.
What will I take away from the visit?
At the end of the visit, your doctor may make recommendations for lifestyle modifications, such as dietary changes or establishing an exercise routine. You may also learn how to do self-examinations and take other steps to stay healthy between visits. Your PCP may also prescribe medications or order further tests.