The Importance of Having an Annual Physical

It’s easy to avoid going to the doctor when you’re healthy, but if that means skipping yearly physicals, it can work against you.

The family medicine physicians at South Plains Rural Health Services offer annual preventive exams for men, women, and children of all ages. This personalized approach to your medical care helps you build a strong relationship with a single provider focused on helping you stay on top of your health. With that bond in place, you can turn to your physician for all of your family’s needs and be confident of getting the high-quality health care you deserve.

Seeing a family medicine practitioner on a regular basis also allows your medical care to grow with you as you age so you stay healthy at every stage of life.

Establishing a baseline for your health

If you seek medical care only when you’re sick, your doctor won’t have a good sense of your general health when you’re well. During an annual exam, your doctor can note essential information about your overall health and wellness — a critical tool in diagnosing potential risks or diseases before they start.

Annual exams track vital information such as:


You and your doctor will discuss your family medical history, diet and exercise, lifestyle choices like smoking, and other issues that may be impacting your health like stress or anxiety. It’s also an opportunity to discuss any health concerns you may have with a medical professional whom you know you can trust.

The better your doctor knows you, the easier to identify health risks like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes before they cause serious complications.

Identifying specific preventive health screenings

Your age, gender, and general wellness all determine the specific tests you need to protect your health. At your annual exam, your primary care physician tracks these tests and makes the appropriate recommendations. For children and adults, this might mean administering and updating vaccinations. When you’re sexually active, your yearly physical involves testing for sexually transmitted diseases to protect your reproductive health.  

As you grow older, additional health screenings are a crucial step to preventing or identifying diseases at an early stage. South Plains Rural Health Services provides breast cancer screenings for women 40 and older, and prostate cancer examinations for men starting at 50.

Age 50 is also the starting point for both men and women to have colonoscopy screenings for colon cancer. Colorectal cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, but the toll has been dropping for decades in large part because of the increased use of colonoscopy screenings.

A doctor who is familiar with your overall health and family medical history might recommend that these types of screenings begin earlier or occur more frequently.

Your trusted partner managing chronic conditions

In addition to helping prevent and diagnose problems with your health, your annual exam enables your physician to manage chronic conditions. These conditions might include:

In addition to caring for your chronic medical conditions, South Plains Rural Health Services also offers multidisciplinary specialists to treat all aspects of your health, including behavioral health, general dentistry, and eye care.

To take the first step in protecting your overall health, call South Plains Rural Health Services or schedule an annual exam online today.

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