Confused about the tests you may need at your annual physical? Which ones are essential to reveal hidden problems and to treat them as early as possible?
Let’s take a closer look at annual physical examinations with your family medicine provider, its routine components, and what else your provider may recommend, depending on your age and other risk factors.
Components of The Annual Physical Exam
For adults, annual physical examinations should start at 18 years of age. During the in-office check-up, providers assess health risk factors, such as smoking or alcohol usage, and discuss the patient’s medical history and any concerns the patient may have. The physician will also assess:
- Height and weight (and calculates the body mass index, or BMI)
- Blood pressure, temperature, respiration, and heart rate
- Muscular strength and coordination
- Aspects of mental health, such as depression and cognitive ability, particularly in senior adults
Patients also undergo a simple skin assessment and inspection of the ears, nose, and throat.
Based on the findings, the doctor may recommend medications, therapies, or other treatments to treat acute problems and to manage chronic conditions, such as diabetes.
Also, most doctors order a routine blood draw for a complete blood count and metabolic panel (including blood glucose and cholesterol) and a urine test for kidney function and to screen for infections.
Other Screening Tests You May Need
Other specialized screenings may be ordered, as well. Common screenings include the following:
- Mammography to screen for breast cancer, every one to two years in women ages 40 to 55 and every two years for those 55 and up
- Annual lung CT scans to screen for lung cancer in people ages 55 to 80 who have a 30 pack-year smoking history or those who quit 15 years ago or longer
- Bone density screening (DEXA scan) for women 65 years and up (intervals to be determined)
- Annual STD screening (gonorrhea, syphilis, and others) for people at risk due to geographic area, occupation, gender, or lifestyle
- Colorectal cancer via colonoscopy for those age 45 and older (intervals vary according to the disease and age)
- Hepatitis B and C blood tests done annually for patients at high risk
Other screenings, such as prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests for men or HIV infection in young people, are given at individualized intervals as determined by the provider. These tests are often discussed at the annual physical examination.
The Best in Preventive Health Care in Miami and Orlando, FL
Premier Physician Support Services offers comprehensive medical care for patients of all ages and health needs. We emphasize preventive services, including tests and vaccinations, to keep ahead of both acute and chronic disease conditions.
Call to arrange your annual check-up at our Orlando clinic by calling (407) 735-2114. Or, contact us at our office in Miami by calling (305) 392-1200. Also, you can use our online appointment request form. We look forward to partnering with you and your family to achieve long-term wellness and vitality.