As the importance and value of annual exams has come under debate in recent years, it has many people asking the question – what is the benefit of an annual exam? For many patients, it is a preventative measure to help maintain a long and healthy life, and for others it is the reassurance that they remain healthy. Whatever the reason is, annual exams continue to remain an important tradition for patients and physicians alike. It also seems to be a staple in the relationship between doctors and patients.
During these annual exams, physicians take note of vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature) and, they will go a bit more in depth as to your family history. According to WebMD (www.WebMD.com), the following are typical things to expect at a routine annual checkup:
- General Appearance – Observation into your health based on how you talk, if your skin appears healthy, and if you’re having any trouble standing a walking.
- Heart Exam – Listening to your heart with a stethoscope to detect any irregularities in the heartbeat, a heart murmur, or other indications of heart disease.
- Lung Exam – Using a stethoscope, a doctor listens for wheezes or decreased breath sounds that may indicate the presence of lung disease.
- Head and Neck Exam – Examining the throat and tonsils is important to rule certain health concerns out. This also gives doctors the ability to view the quality of your teeth and gums to ensure oral health. It is also important to examine the overall health of the ears, nose, sinuses, eyes, lymph nodes, thyroid, and carotid arteries to ensure health in those areas as well.
- Neurological Exam – Asses reflexes, balance, muscle strength, nerves, and mental state.
- Dermatological Exam – Checks the skin and nails for any indication of a dermatological problem or disease somewhere in the body.
- Male Physical Exam – Ensures overall health in regards to male specific anatomy.
- Female Physical Exam – Ensures overall health in regards to female specific anatomy.
Another one of the many benefits of having a routine annual exam is that insurance tends to cover the copay for annual exams. It varies by insurance carrier, but typically if the appointment falls at least a year after the last annual exam – you will not be responsible for the copay. However, you should still check with your insurance carrier to make sure this applies to their policy.
Finally, make sure to play an active role in your annual exam. Speak up with any questions you may have about your health, despite how minor they may seem. It will help establish trust and a relationship with your physician.
One of the easiest ways to ensure a long and healthy life is to take those preventative measures whenever possible. Annual exams are an easy preventive measure that can easily be controlled, and are strongly recommended.
Book an Appointment for your Annual Physical Today! Call: 303-694-5757