Why is an annual physical important?

An annual physical gives you a picture of your health. It also helps you establish a relationship with a doctor so they can monitor changes in your health. While you may feel fine, many chronic conditions, including hypertension, have no outward symptoms, but they do a lot of internal damage.

Don’t go to the doctor only when you’re sick. Annual physicals at Halper Family Medicine give your doctor a chance to see you when you’re well and to help you prevent issues from arising. You have time to review medications and ask general health questions. Your doctor can monitor your blood pressure, weight, and emotional health at annual physicals. You receive better overall care when they have a picture of your medical history and don’t just see you periodically for acute issues such as a sore throat or the flu.

What happens at annual physicals?

An annual physical involves a physical review, basic blood tests, and monitoring of any chronic conditions you may have, including diabetes or heart disease. Your doctor reviews your health history and any changes, as well as your vaccination record to determine if you need any boosters or new vaccines.

If you need a school, sports, or employment physical, your doctor completes the necessary tests and fills out the required forms.

If you’re in need of a preventive screening, such as a mammogram or colonoscopy, your doctor orders them during your annual physical.

What gender-specific issues do annual exams address?

Women need an annual physical to care for their reproductive health. Annual examinations for women may include a pelvic exam, Pap smear, and breast exam. A Pap smear is an important screening for cervical cancer, for example. And, if you have any questions about your menstrual cycle or unusual pelvic pain, you can bring them up to your Halper Family Medicine doctor.

Men and women who are sexually active may benefit from screenings for sexually transmitted disease.

For men, annual exams may include a prostate exam and overall sexual health discussion. If you’re a man having issues with sexual performance, such as erectile dysfunction, an annual physical is a good time to bring this up.

Hormone replacement therapy for women (estrogen and progesterone) and men (testosterone) can alleviate uncomfortable symptoms associated with aging. Women may find relief from hot flashes and mood swings while men may find renewed vigor and improvements in sexual performance from hormone therapy treatments.

To schedule your annual physical, call Halper Family Medicine or book an appointment using the online tool.