There are not many individuals regularly visiting their doctors and getting a physical checkup. One report stated that only about one-fifth of U.S. adults get an annual physical.
Even though some experts have said that certain groups of people do not necessarily need to get a checkup annually, some still feel that it is important to visit your doctor regularly. Most people get their checkups once a year and others bi-yearly.
It’s important to examine why some people might need to get an annual checkup. What can a person expect at a normal medical checkup?
Considering these factors will make you more equipped with an understanding of routine doctor visits.
Why Get an Annual Physical Checkup?
Getting an annual physical is more than just an exam. It is about having a one-on-one conversation with your doctor. As previously mentioned, some researchers have stated that getting an annual checkup does nothing for your health; however, there are always exceptions to this rule.
Some say that their doctor visits offer reassurance that they’re in good shape and are healthy. When you make your annual visits, it will make it easier for your doctor to flag any health problem and quickly fix it. For example, your doctor might notice that you have slightly elevated bad cholesterol levels and will suggest what you can do to bring them down to normal levels.
If you feel that it is necessary to have an annual checkup, then go right ahead. Visit your doctor when you have particular health worries or if you want to confirm that you’re on the right track health-wise. However, if you’re a healthy person, then you might want to listen to the experts and let go of the annual tradition. You will save a lot of money if you do so.
What Can a Person Expect in a Normal Medical Checkup?
Most doctors don’t like the term “physical exam.” They would much rather use the term “annual wellness” visit. This is so you can be comfortable with your annual checkups and not view it as a terrible event. The doctor will personalize the appointment based on the information from your medical history, family health history, and your age group. The doctor will also take a look at your vital signs and other factors from your physical exam to determine if you are high or low risk for certain diseases.
The doctor will do more than use a stethoscope to check your vitals. The regular doctor checkup will include:
- Documenting your vitals such as respiration rate, temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure
- Inspecting your ears, eyes, and throat will help your physician see any potential issues
- Receiving vaccinations to prevent short-term and long-term illness
- Discussing preventative and recommended treatments to help your change in health
- Managing your prescription, whether it’s over-the-counter drugs or supplements, so they do not interact with each other and cause internal damage
Some tests that you might receive annually are:
- A routine urine test to determine internal issues
- The blood test is drawn to determine if you have high bad cholesterol, high blood pressure, if you’re anemic, have low iron, etc.
- Pap smears are performed every three-to-five years
- EKG screenings
How Often Should You See a Doctor for a Medical Checkup?
If you or a family member is at a higher risk of encountering health problems, such as older adults or young children and infants, then you should have an annual checkup. This is because older adults and children are more likely to suffer an illness. Your doctor might recommend seeing them every year just to be on the safe side. Also, if you have bad health problems like high blood pressure or pre-diabetic, then you should see your doctor once a year, no matter your age.
If you suffer from a chronic illness, then it is warranted for you to visit your doctor or specialist more than once a year. These particular checkups allow your doctor to see your current state of health. Also, if you are on prescription medicine, then the doctor needs to regularly examine you to see if the medicine is helping your health problem or exacerbate it.