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Yearly physical checkups are a common practice for primary care providers. Often called a physical, this checkup is a great way for people of all ages to check in with their doctor and make sure all the body’s main functions are working in the ways they’re supposed to. In some cases, physicals can even help detect diseases or complications that wouldn’t have been discovered otherwise.
There’s some debate about the need for a yearly physical checkup within the medical community. Some suggest that tests and treatments involved are overpriced and can cause more issues than they solve. Others value yearly checkups for their ability to help patients stay on top of their health and wellness. If you have questions about yearly physicals, talk with your doctor about any concerns and how physicals can maximize your care.
One of the first things your doctor (or nurse) does when you come in for a physical is check your basic vitals in several important areas. These include:
It sounds simple, but there are plenty of times where a basic visual examination can be enough to signal certain issues to your doctor. In many cases, this can lead to your doctor ordering more detailed exams.
Depending on these simple tests, coupled with your personal and family medical history, your doctor may order other tests:
There are times where your doctor might feel the need to order certain laboratory tests based on what they see in a physical. Generally, laboratory test are not a standard in physical examinations.
There are a few simple tests that may be conducted based on your gender. These can be important, as they check basic parts of the reproductive system to make sure they’re in order.
If you haven’t been to a doctor in a while, it may be a good idea to schedule an annual physical to make sure everything in your body is functioning properly.
“Annual Physical Examinations.” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/annual-physical-examinations#1
“Regular Check-Ups are Important.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/family/checkup/
The Live Better Team
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.