The following article was written by Hayley Jackson, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC. A board-certified family nurse practitioner, Hayley provides Express Care Services at Wood River Health. She is passionate about holistic patient-centered care, lifestyle medicine and women’s health.
The Importance of a Yearly Physical for Adults
While yearly checkups are commonplace with infants and children, you may be surprised to learn that they are equally important across the lifespan. Below we will discuss the benefits of yearly physicals and what to expect.
Visiting your primary care provider once per year for a physical can ensure that you are up to date with vaccines that protect you from getting sick (such as getting a yearly flu shot). Your provider will discuss options for age and risk factor appropriate testing and screening. These screening tools aim to detect cancers such as colon, breast, and lung cancer, to name a few, often before symptoms are present. At every physical a blood pressure, pulse, height, and weight are taken to ensure your health is optimal. All these factors combine to ensure you are maintaining good health. Ultimately, a yearly physical may detect diseases or uncover personal risk factors for certain diseases such as hypertension or high blood pressure.
What to Expect
Depending on your age and risk factors your healthcare provider may discuss options for testing such as blood work, mammograms, pap smears, or other testing. Your provider will review your medical/surgical history, family history, medications, allergies, and lifestyle information. A yearly physical is a great opportunity to discuss birth control, diet, physical activity, sleep, and preventative healthcare such as ensuring you see a dentist and eye doctor. Routine referrals can be made to the dentist, eye doctor, or OBGYN at this time. At Wood River Health many of our providers also provide routine women’s health care and family planning.
As you can see there is a lot of important information to cover during these visits! For this reason, any specific new medical concern or complaint is best addressed during its own appointment as your concerns deserve devoted time! Also, your friendly PCP may want to see you more frequently to monitor any conditions that you may have and ensure your medications are a good fit.