Why an Annual Medical Exam Is So Important

Why an Annual Medical Exam Is So Important

It’s easy to put off scheduling an annual medical exam. After all, it takes time out of your busy schedule, requires planning and driving time, and, if you feel healthy, doesn’t even seem necessary.

An annual exam, though, is an essential part of your overall health care. It gives your provider at South Plains Rural Health Services the opportunity to get to know you better, which only maximizes your care and wellbeing. Plus, it helps us create a baseline of important health markers, like cholesterol and blood sugar levels, so we can identify potential problems early, when they’re most treatable. 

If you still aren’t convinced, here are other reasons you should schedule your annual medical exam: 

Get to know your doctor, when you’re well

If you only head to our office when you’re sick, we never get to focus on other important aspects of your health like smoking, exercise, alcohol use, diet, and weight. When you visit us when you’re well, you make us a partner in your long-term health maintenance.

At an annual exam, we make lifestyle recommendations to help you optimize your everyday life and protect you from devastating diseases. 

Schedule essential screenings

Your annual medical exam is a time for us to make sure you’re up-to-date with all essential screenings, including blood work and exams like mammograms (women) or prostate checks (men), bone density screenings, and colonoscopies. These screenings can detect serious problems early, when you’re more likely to get successful resolution and avoid complications. 

Update vaccinations

Vaccinations are important to protecting you from devastating diseases. Depending on your age, you might need a booster or initial vaccine to help you avoid unnecessary illness. Although vaccinations are usually associated with childhood, everyone benefits from a yearly flu vaccine and older adults benefit from a shingles or pneumonia vaccine. Adults should also get a tetanus booster every 10 years. We can track these vaccination schedules for you.

Bring your care history up-to-date

At an annual exam, you update your personal and family medical history in our records. This helps us maintain a log of your health changes over time so if you should come in with an emergency, you’ll get the most appropriate care. It also helps us identify trends in your health that may point to increased disease risk. 

Review medications

We’ll make sure all your prescriptions are up-to-date and refilled, if needed. Your provider can also make sure any over-the-counter drugs and supplements you regularly take don’t interact with prescription medications. If you’re experiencing side effects as a result of your medications, we can help you manage them or look for alternative prescriptions. 

Discover hidden problems

Many serious conditions, including high blood pressure and some cancers, don’t show symptoms until you’re in a dire state. Annual exams can identify these problems early, so they can be treated and managed without great disruption to your overall health. We can refer you to a provider within South Plains Rural Health Services, or outside,  if you have a condition that requires specialized care.

If you’re ready to schedule your medical exam, South Plains Rural Health Services is ready to help. Call the nearest location today, or use the online tool to set up an appointment for your annual visit. 

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