Do you really need a routine physical?

We can all agree that having a healthcare provider we like and trust is a good thing. Seeking medical care when we’re not feeling well is a no-brainer. But when and why does it make sense to schedule a wellness exam? Data on the value of “routine” exams is sorely lacking.

When you move to a new city or decide to change medical providers, a “get acquainted” exam is a really good idea. You should prepare by reviewing your family history and writing down a list of questions or concerns that you would like your provider to address, and making sure your medical records are transferred to your new provider. After your doctor has reviewed your history and completed your physical exam, the two of you can review the most appropriate laboratory and other tests, and have a conversation about the right intervals for your follow-up care.

Knowing Your Health Risks

Certain factors increase your chances of developing chronic health conditions and diseases. The more your health care team knows about you, the better they can determine which health conditions you’re at an increased risk of developing and recommend preventive care options that can help reduce that risk.

Factors that can contribute to your risk of developing certain health conditions include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Family history
  • Activity levels
  • Quality of your diet
  • Tobacco and alcohol use
  • Being overweight or obese

Health Screening Exams and Testing

Because your healthcare provider wants to understand your current health as well as potential health issues, periodic health maintenance exams typically include the following:

Physical Exams

During your physical exam, it’s normal for your care team to perform the following tests to check for any abnormalities or causes for concern:

  • Checking your blood pressure
  • Monitoring your heart rate
  • Checking your respiratory rate
  • Listening to your heart and lungs with a stethoscop
  • Checking your ears, eyes, nose, and throat
  • Checking your body for lumps, bumps, and any other abnormalities;
  • Tapping on your abdomen to check for proper organ location

Lab Tests

As appropriate, your healthcare provider may order blood work and lab tests to check for the presence of diseases or health conditions. Lab work can impart a general picture of your organ function and your risk for cardiovascular disease. It can also help determine the effectiveness of current medications.

Cancer Screenings

When it comes to most forms of cancer, early detection is key for successful treatment. Some cancer screenings adults have include:

  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Prostate cancer

Check in with your primary care team to make sure you’re up to date with your health screenings and testing.

Primary Care in Minneapolis

At The Good Clinic, our philosophy is that you’re in charge of your health—we are here to support you. Good health happens when patients have a close relationship with their primary care team.

Whether you need a check-up, have health concerns, or anything in between—call (612) 284-8206 to schedule your next visit.