Five good reasons to schedule a comprehensive physical exam

Almost every one of my patients tells me that they have a busy schedule. And that can be a big reason why so many patients find it hard to find the time or motivation to get a regular physical. Common excuses include “I’m too busy” or “If I feel okay why do I need a physical?”

However, in reality comprehensive physical exams are critical and an essential part of maintaining good health.

I have also seen cases where patients postpone coming to see me about an issue with the rationale “I’ll just wait until it’s time for my physical.” Please do not wait on any health concerns. Your wellbeing is my top priority, and if something is going on, we want to catch it and deal with it promptly before the condition worsens.

I am a big proponent of yearly physicals because some very common issues can be “caught” during an annual physical including immunization updates, medication updates and the early diagnosis of conditions such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and even diabetes.

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If you are a current patient and are kind enough to forward this newsletter to a friend who might become a new patient, keep in mind that I do not perform physical exams on a first visit. The reason for this is that I prefer to do a comprehensive consultation with new patients to determine their health risk factors; both inherited and non-inherited. I am happy to perform a physical on a subsequent visit.

My physical exams are very comprehensive; there is nothing “routine” about them. This type of very thorough examination can offer many benefits; some are much more obvious than others.

Five good reasons for a comprehensive exam:

I can help you prevent health-related issues during a physical exam

One of my favorite sayings is “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Regular physical examinations help me to identify changes or potential problem areas in your overall health and act accordingly. The results gained from a physical can help me give patients advance warning of heart disease or even cancer. In fact, cancer screening has become a routine part of my physical examinations, especially for older adults. I can also help detect symptoms of unhealthy habits and work with you to make adjustments.

Your physical can help me identify health trends

Regularly scheduled physical examinations can help give me a good idea of where you currently are health-wise; compared to where you were the last time you came to visit, and the time before that, and so on. The more I know about you and your health the better!

By comparing your results over the years, I am better equipped to identify long-term trends in your health, both positive and negative. If I do identify an issue, you’ll be better equipped to correct unhealthy habits, which in turn will lead to the potential for a higher quality of life.

During a physical often we can kill two birds with one stone

Many of my patients end up getting multiple medical tasks taken care of during their visit with me for a physical exam. For example, you may need an update on prescriptions, whether it’s a change of medication or a change of dosage. Or some patients request a flu shot during their routine physical exams. Patients who are planning to travel abroad may need to receive specific immunizations before their departure. An appointment for a physical exam with me is an excellent time to check items such as these “off the to-do list”.

My patients receive a professional and personal opinion

I find that people are often unaware of what is actually going on in their bodies. Right now, it’s far too easy to go online and search for symptoms, leading to an assumption that you’ve contracted a rare type of disease or you’re suffering from an unusual ailment. It’s a much better idea to take the time to ask me about it personally vs. trying to self-diagnose. A physical exam can provide a golden opportunity to receive a sound, well-informed medical diagnosis and treatment advice from a doctor who knows you and cares about you.

It doesn’t cost an arm and a leg  

Another wonderful thing about physical exams is that they are generally not prohibitively expensive. If you are a patient who has an insurance plan that works with me, it is possible that you won’t have to pay very much out-of-pocket to get a routine physical examination.

If you are a patient of mine who is paying out-of-pocket, the cost of a physical exam is still very reasonable. And if a condition is caught early it is actually an investment in your health and could end up saving you a great deal of money down the road.

Without a doubt, it is to your advantage to schedule regular physical exams with me. Many of my patients have found that doing so has been inexpensive, enlightening, and in some cases even life-saving.

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Your next step is to call to schedule

I look forward to seeing you for a physical exam. Call the office at 952-999-4049 and Allison would be happy to schedule an appointment. Or I welcome you to send me a message or ask me a question at any time using the form on this page: www.thedrshouse.com/contact-us