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Don’t overlook the importance of getting your annual exam.
The Annual Physical – Necessary Or Not Needed?
By Alice Lane
The annual physical. Some dread it, some ignore it, and some swear by it. But what is the truth about the annual physical? For many, the annual physical is the only time a patient gets to sit down and talk to their doctor for more than five minutes. They can go over concerns, talk about healthy habits, and ask about tests that may uncover or rule out serious health problems. If you live in the Chicagoland area, physicals are a staple of Illinois healthcare appointments. Like clockwork, many people will schedule their annual physical at the same time every year and come prepared with a fistful of health questions. But is an annual physical really a necessity? Some say no.
There are some that say an annual physical has no measurable benefit to the patient, citing several studies in the 1960s and 1970s. The logic goes that if an annual physical really has no health benefit, then why go to one? It’s a good question, and one that needs answering. After all, it’s usually pretty easy to know if a trip to Kankakee hospital is needed, because you’ll have something serious if you’re talking about going to a hospital. But maybe it’s hard to tell if a physical will be a waste of time for you or a potential lifesaver. After all, if you’re not getting any benefit out of the physical, all you’re doing is missing work for no reason and tying up your doctor for an hour that someone else could see them. And isn’t it hard enough to get in to see the doctor these days?
While some don’t seem to think very highly of the annual physical, there are others that swear by it and wish more people would go every year. But even those proponents would say you need to get specific things out of your annual physical in order for it to be worthwhile. If you want to stay out of an Illinois hospital and in to a happy, healthy life, you may want to pay attention. First, some say, it’s important to get full bloodwork done at every physical. If there are serious problems that bloodwork can diagnose, now is the time to discover them.
Second, if there are any preventative care procedures like prostate exams or pap smears, you should get those done as well. Perhaps you may not be able to do the exact procedure at the annual physical, but making the appointment is something you can do as the first step.
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