5 reasons why annual physical exams are so important

Published: January 09, 2023

Staying healthy is a team sport. The players? You and your primary care physician.

When it comes to taking care of your health, your primary care physician (PCP) is your right hand. And your annual physical is an opportunity to check in on your health and set goals for the coming year.

An annual physical is not a sick visit. It's an exam that takes place when you're feeling well. It's a perfect opportunity to connect with your PCP, determine if you're living the healthiest lifestyle possible, and discuss ways to optimize your health.

Five reasons why you should get a yearly physical:

  1. Healthcare maintenance. At your annual physical, your PCP ensures that your healthcare maintenance is up to date. It begins with a routine check of your vital signs like blood pressure, heart rate, and weight. But its focus is preventative. Your PCP will review your health status and send you for blood work. They may also send you for mammography, colonoscopy, prostate screening, lung imaging, or other tests that can detect diseases, such as cancer, early. Your physical is also a good time to address chronic healthcare issues, such as hypertension, diabetes, or thyroid disease, and for your PCP to adjust dosages of any medications you're taking.
  2. Vaccinations. Like most U.S. adults, you probably received polio and MMR vaccines during infancy. But when was your last tetanus shot? Are you vaccinated for shingles or pneumonia? Did you get the latest Covid booster? Your PCP will review your vaccination status against these and other preventable illnesses.
  3. Lifestyle modification. Talk with your PCP about losing weight, getting in shape, and improving your sleep by eating a healthier diet and beginning regular exercise.
  4. Depression/anxiety screening. Untreated depression and anxiety commonly lead to fatigue, irritability, weight gain, or even physical pain. Your PCP can initiate treatment and refer you to a mental health professional.
  5. Set goals for the New Year. Want to lose a few pounds? Train for a marathon? Your annual physical is the time to discuss your health—physical and psychological—for the year and make a plan that you can follow on your own.

Where can I get an annual physical exam?

If you need to book an annual physical and are looking for a new provider, Stamford Health Medical Group has primary care providers who are accepting new patients with immediate availability. We offer convenient office locations in Stamford, Darien, Greenwich, Wilton, and Norwalk. We look forward to meeting you and supporting your health goals.


About the Author

Brianna Siegel, MD is a primary care physician at Stamford Health Medical Group.

 

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