Annual Physical Exams—Make it a Priority

Posted January 21, 2020 by in Health + Fitness
female doctor

Do you go to your doctor for an annual checkup? When was the last time you saw a doctor? Many people go without medical treatment for a multitude of reasons, some personal, others due to income restraints. Either way, it is important to visit your doctor on a regular basis for a checkup. Ideally, checkups should be done once a year depending on a patient’s history. 

If you do not visit the doctor regularly, or you have not been to a doctor in some time, you may be wondering what happens during a regular checkup with your doctor. During your checkup, your doctor will examine you using the best stethoscope he or she has. Your doctor will take a history and ask you about alcohol use, drug use, and some facts about your life. 

Next, they will inquire as to your sexual relationships and other sexual health questions. Then, the doctor will perform the necessary blood work, including a complete blood count and will check the levels of toxins, minerals, and the overall function of your major organs. They may also perform a basic examination where they check your abdomen, legs, arms, and anywhere else that you report pain or discomfort. If you are female, they will give you your annual pap smear and cervical screening including a breast examination to check for signs of breast cancer. Or they may advice you to visit your gynecologist for this. Staying on top of your health “down there” is just as important. 

doctor with a stethoscope

Most doctors’ offices are inundated with patients, so if you hear nothing after you get your blood work done, you should presume that no news is good news! But if the doctor does find any issues, you will be called for a repeat appointment and develop a treatment plan. It is recommended that people with chronic conditions see their doctor once a month until the condition is under control, then barring an urgent need, every six months afterward.

Some people don’t think it is important to go to the doctor regularly, but it is important because it will protect the health of you and your family. There is a danger in waiting to see a doctor when something serious or potentially serious is happening to you. The longer you delay the visit to your doctor, the worse off you may be and you may even die as a result of not seeking medical treatment.

Some resist going to the doctor based on religious reasons. While that should be respected, children should not be denied access to a doctor based on the religion of their parents. Children are easily manipulated and influenced by adults. As such, you, as a parent, have to put aside your beliefs for the sake of your child and take them to get the care that they need from a qualified medical professional who is board certified and has the necessary experience pertaining to the illness you suspect they have. 

Not only are medical checkups ignored, but mental health checkups are ignored too. There is a stigma surrounding mental health in the U.S. The illness is swept under the rug. Those who seek treatment might be pre-judged and threatened with a loss of rights if they choose talk therapy over drugs. 

Mental health can be overlooked or not taken care of as it should. Many people are embarrassed or feel like they are a failure if they need to discuss their mental health issues. What the patient has to realize is that it is another condition that affects your body, and, as such, you have the same rights as any patient. It doesn’t matter if the problem is in your brain or in your gut. If you are suffering from mental illness and are afraid to seek help, find a mental health advocacy service and have a support person go with you to make sure you are heard and your rights are protected. 

So with all that being said, please consider going to the doctor for a checkup. They are not scary. You might be in the doctors’ office all day waiting, however. If that is the worst thing that happens during the visit, then I am sure you will be just fine.

Do you go for a physical every year? Let us know in the comments below!