It’s tax season, and the start of a new quarter. Though you may have ensured your finances, work goals, and summer plans are buttoned up so far this year, have you included your annual physical on the checklist of important things to take care of? 

Meeting with your doctor annually gives both of you the opportunity to ensure everything is running smoothly with your overall health. It also is the time to discuss any other tests or screenings you may need in order to catch serious conditions early, and then make a plan of action should any problems arise. Here’s more of what to expect, and why to make sure your annual physical is scheduled. 

What Does a Physical Involve?

Depending on your health needs, the steps of your annual physical will vary. But in general it’s the time for you and your doctor to have a conversation about your overall health, including any new developments in your health, diet, substance usage, exercise habits, sexual activity, and sleep patterns, as well as any new aches, pains, or issues you’ve noticed since your last visit. 

Your doctor will also conduct a thorough physical exam, including checking your:

  • Weight, height, blood pressure, temperature, and pulse
  • Heart and lungs
  • Mouth and ears
  • Lymph nodes
  • Reflexes and extremities
  • Breasts (for women) or testicles and prostate (for men) 

To monitor your cholesterol and blood sugar levels, liver function, metabolism, and other health indicators, your doctor may also draw blood samples and send them to a lab for screening.

Why Are Physicals Essential for Overall Health?

The tests and exams conducted during your physical allow your doctor to track even slight changes in your body, like a reduction or increase in your blood cell counts, or elevated blood pressure. Early detection of many conditions — including several forms of cancer — can lead to diagnosis much sooner, which means a more serious condition can be treated early. (Which is when treatment can be much more effective.) 

When you meet with your doctor regularly each year, it also creates a health baseline from which you can maximize your wellness. Annual physicals allow your providers to connect with you when you’re feeling fine, so that they can provide even better care for you if you become sick or need adjustments to your health plan later in the year.

Prioritize Your Well Being

You might associate regular doctor’s visits with those who are either extremely fit and want to stay that way (like athletes), or those who are suffering chronic or complex health problems. But your annual visit is a time for all of us — at any age or level of healthiness — to put our health front and center. 

If you’re interested in beginning a yearly relationship with one of our caring physicians, or are a regular patient overdue for your own annual physical, give us a call at 762-356-4933. Our integrated care system ensures that every individual receives comfortable and quality attention at every stage of their health journey