Annual physical examinations play an important role in maintaining good health and well-being. Primary care doctors provide annual exams to patients, which may change in frequency depending on the patient’s needs. If you haven’t scheduled your annual exam, now is the time to do so. If you are scheduled for your annual exam, here are several tips on how to make the most out of it.
Have A List of Questions Ready
Annual physical exams tend to be longer than regular check-ups. This is the time to ask your primary care doctor any questions you may have pertaining to health and lifestyle. Examples of questions include:
- “How do I increase my vitamin D intake during the winter months?”
- “How can I lose 10 pounds?”
- “Should I worry about diabetes/hypertension/cancer?”
If there are new symptoms that have been bothering you, let your primary care doctor know. They can request some tests to diagnose the cause of the symptoms. Severe headaches, pain or tenderness in your breast, or stiffness in your hip are examples of things you should bring up during an annual exam. If your primary care doctor thinks you should see a specialist, they will recommend someone within the insurance network.
List Down Medications
Let your doctor know about all medications and supplements you take. You don’t necessarily have to bring all of them — a list should do unless your doctor says otherwise. Also, list the name of the doctor prescribing each medication.
Bring Results of Your Latest Tests
If you’ve had medical or imaging tests prior to your appointment, make sure to bring a copy of the results with you. Your primary care doctor plays an important part as the coordinator of your care and should be aware of your tests.
Bring Immunization Records
If it’s your first annual exam with your primary care doctor, have a list of your immunizations ready. They will want to make sure you are up-to-date on your vaccinations and immunizations.
Bring Detailed Family History
Was your grandmother diagnosed with breast cancer in her 40s? Did your father get a colon cancer diagnosis? Does anyone in your family have diabetes? Your family’s medical history matters. Your primary care doctor will use it to assess risk factors and create a personalized health care plan for you.
The annual physical exam falls under preventive care. It is usually free of charge and something you should take advantage of. During the exam, your doctor will conduct a physical exam, draw blood, and keep you up-to-date on your vaccinations and immunizations. They can also recommend the necessary health screenings to stay on top of your health and catch any medical conditions early before they start causing symptoms.
Schedule Your Annual Exam Now
Are you ready for an annual physical? At SC Internal Medicine Associates & Rehabilitation, LLC., we offer annual physical exams as well as wellness visits. If you have questions about our services, please call (803) 749-1111 or use our convenient online request form to make an appointment.