You don’t have to wait until you feel sick or unwell to undergo a comprehensive annual physical exam. If anything, it’s when you’re feeling healthy that you should stick to your yearly checkup. A visit to your primary care physician (PCP) is a great opportunity for you to ask them any medical, health or wellness questions that you have been too busy to look into throughout the year. While a standard checkup will go over basic physiological functions, there are additional tests you may undergo if needed. There are so many reasons why you should never miss out on your comprehensive annual checkup, and here’s a quick overview.
Follow-up on chronic conditions
If you have an ongoing medical condition, you will likely fall into a routine and gradually learn to live with it. As the days pass by, you begin adjusting to the condition and the pain it brings you. Sometimes, this means that any changes or new symptoms may go unnoticed. An annual checkup will alert you to any progress in your condition and the new measures you’ll need to take or adjustments you’ll have to make. On the positive side, your condition may have improved, which would require a change in medication regimens and treatment programmes.
Early intervention for asymptomatic conditions and preventive care
The reason why it’s crucial to do the annual checkup, especially if you don’t feel unwell, is that it alerts you to any developing conditions that aren’t presenting any symptoms yet. Various asymptomatic medical conditions stealthily make their way throughout your body. It’s usually too late to intervene once the symptoms show, as the disease had overspread, making the prognosis so much worse. Likewise, annual checkups provide the ultimate preventive care tools for early intervention and screening of common conditions.
Build a strong relationship with your primary care physician
Your PCP is your go-to person when your health worsens. They should be the person most familiar with your entire medical history and health condition. That is how they can guide you through a comfortable and comprehensive treatment program. Needless to say, a lot of care must be given while choosing your PCP. As Eileen Reese explains in her concierge MD practice, the right PCP will always make their patients their utmost priority and give them their sole focus. You should be able to reach your PCP throughout the year and not just during the annual checkup. That way, they can order any additional tests they see necessary to manage your condition.
Fix bad lifestyle habits
It’s common to start experiencing random back pain, stress, and anxiety amidst our busy and hectic day-to-day life. Simple symptoms like these quickly accumulate and affect our quality of life, but we rarely think of seeking medical help. These annual checkups provide the ultimate opportunity to share your worries with your PCP and get beneficial tips to change bad lifestyle habits that keep hampering us.
The next time you think you should only visit your doctor when you’re unwell, remember that you know better. From following up on chronic conditions to prevention care, the comprehensive annual checkup will benefit you in multiple ways. On the plus side, you’ll build a stronger relationship with your PCP, leading to a better quality of life.
James Wallace has been an advocate for mental health awareness for years. He holds a master’s degree in counselling from the University of Edinburgh.