A medical check-up, otherwise known as a comprehensive physical exam, is an important preventive and diagnostic tool. Our primary care physicians recommend that our patients come in once a year for a medical check-up to ensure their health is on track. This annual medical exam gives us an opportunity to closely monitor your health and assist with the prevention of disease and illness.
What is an Annual Physical Exam?
The actual components of your annual physical exam will vary depending on your age and gender. Some common aspects included in a routine medical check-up are outlined here.
For most patients, a physical exam will begin with an age-appropriate discussion of your overall health. This provides us with an opportunity to discuss your medical history and any risk factors based on family history or pre-existing conditions.
Immunization Check: We'll also review your immunization records to ensure you aren't due for any vaccinations such as tetanus, influenza, pneumonia or hepatitis A/B. We can administer any necessary vaccines right in our office.
Routine Blood Work: We can do blood tests to see if you are anemic or to see if you have certain diseases such as liver disease. In addition, simple blood tests can check your vitamin levels to see if you may have any deficiencies that can be quickly adjusted with diet or supplements. Depending on your age or risk factors, we may also elect to perform a cholesterol test.
Vital Signs: This is one of the most basic functions of an annual physical exam, but can help identify a number of potential health problems. We'll check your blood pressure, heart rate and temperature, and listen to your heart and lungs.
Skin Check: A routine review of your skin including moles, birthmarks or freckles can help identify any areas that may be cause for concern. When performed annually, this medical exam can significantly reduce your risk for developing skin cancer.
Additional Tests: Depending on your age, gender or medical history, our providers may elect to order additional medical exams such as bone density screening, mammography, colon or prostate cancer screenings. In most cases, our medical partners located throughout our system can assist with these screenings for your convenience.
Benefits of a Medical Check-Up
Getting a routine medical check-up is important for everyone, particularly those with chronic health problems, a complicated health history or a genetic predisposition to certain conditions. Regardless, no matter your age, gender or medical history, it's a great idea to get a routine physical exam once a year.
There are many benefits that come from getting a regular annual medical exam. Prevention and the early detection of potential health problems is the most significant benefit. Others include peace of mind and a more comprehensive health history that can help you make informed health decisions throughout your lifetime.
WakeMed Physician Practices Primary Care practices have achieved the Patient-Center Medical Home Designation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance. To earn this designation, physician practices must offer: