Your primary care provider is the first person you call when you’re sick. But your primary care provider is responsible for caring for your total health. Your annual checkup gives your primary care provider an opportunity to check on your total health.
The goal of your annual physical is to assess your current state of health and risk of future health problems. This visit is important because it’s focus is on keeping you healthy.
At MS Family Medicine Health Care PC in Rosedale and Garden City, New York, our team of health professionals, led by board-certified family medicine physician Michele Reed, DO, FAAFP, are dedicated to keeping our patients and the community we serve in good health.
Here, we want to talk about physicals and annual checkups and why they’re so important.
Why you need annual checkups
Many of the chronic diseases that affect the health of adults in the United States — Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure — are caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition. These diseases develop over years and can cause other health complications that affect quality of life.
You need annual checkups so you and your primary care provider can identify the risk factors that may cause chronic diseases, helping to prevent or delay these long-term illnesses.
You also need annual checkups so you can see how your health changes from year to year. This can motivate you to continue your healthy habits or change risky ones.
Annual checkups also give you and your primary care provider a chance to get to know each other. Having a trusting and comfortable relationship with your provider makes it easier for you to share your health concerns, leading to better overall health for you.
What to expect
No two annual checkups are alike. What happens during your physical depends on your age, sex, and health history. However, you can expect:
- A review of your health history
- A discussion of the types of medications and supplements you take
- Questions about your family health history
- Physical exam
- Questions about your life and daily routine
- A discussion about your mental well-being
We also include sex-specific evaluations during annual checkups. For men, we do prostate exams and for women we do breast and pelvic exams.
We also perform various health screenings at your annual checkup, like a lipid profile to screen for high cholesterol or a blood glucose test to check for Type 2 diabetes. We also make referrals for other health screenings like colonoscopy for colon cancer.
Taking control of your health
After your evaluation, we talk to you about our findings and make recommendations to improve your current or future health. This might include updating vaccinations, smoking cessation treatment, or nutritional counseling.
The guidance we provide helps you take control of your health and wellness so you can live a long, healthy, and active life.
Has it been more than a year since your last checkup? Call our office or use our online booking button to make an appointment for your annual exam right now.