Most people assume that they don’t need to go to see the doctor is they’re perfectly healthy. After all, why waste the money spent on a copay when there’s nothing wrong, right? This line of thinking is actually incorrect. You should see your doctor at least once a year for a general checkup. This appointment will check things like your blood pressure, heart rate, and weight. It also won’t take up too much time, as doctor’s appointments that don’t require a lot of diagnostics are fairly simple. Here are six other reasons why you should schedule that annual health checkup right now.
1) Refill Your Prescriptions
If you take prescription medications for any reason, even if it’s just for seasonal allergies, then you should definitely see your doctor for an annual checkup. While your doctor will more than likely approve those refills without an appointment, it’s always a good idea to check in at least once a year. While your condition might be perfectly stabilized on the medications that you’re currently taking, there’s always the chance that new advances in prescriptions may be able to make a positive impact on your health. Even if you stay on your current medications, the dosage might need to be adjusted. This is something that can also be done at your annual exam.
2) Diagnose Conditions Before They Become Larger Problems
Early diagnosis is one of the most emphasized tenets of healthcare. This message is told in commercials, by healthcare professionals, and by the insurance companies. (The insurance companies like this because they’ll spend less money on your treatments, which applies to your own wallet as well when you consider the cost of out of pocket treatments.) The sooner you find out that you have cancer – the earlier the stage – the better off you’ll be, as the disease is more treatable. The best time to screen for this condition and others is at an annual exam. Your doctor should take the time to look for the main sign of disease and then order additional tests if necessary. If you don’t make this annual appointment, then obviously this won’t be done.
3) Get Updated Vaccinations and Screenings
Did you know that adults need to have some of their vaccinations updated? For example, you should get a tetanus shot every nine or ten years, even if you don’t spend a lot of your time around rusted metal. This shot is often combined with those for diphtheria and pertussis in a combination known as the Tdap. However, there are also vaccinations against pneumonia and the flu that many adults should receive. These are just a few of the vaccinations that can be done at your annual exam.
On top of this, there are medical screenings that could be ordered at this time as well. They include things like routine bloodwork, HIV screening, and other ways to detect potential medical conditions. Every annual exam should include a request for bloodwork, and many physician’s offices are connected with a company that can do this diagnostic work for you quickly and easily.
4) Good Health Is a Solid Baseline
On top of this, you need to remember that your good health is the ideal baseline. This means that it’s the main thing that all of your test results are measured against. The best way to know if something has changed health-wise is by looking at your test results from year to year and comparing them to one another. If your doctor notices a drastic change in something, then they now have something to look into further. However, if you don’t go for your annual exam, then these baseline results will never be taken and your doctor may not notice that something is amiss, unless the reading is extremely abnormal.
5) Get to Know Your Doctor Better
It’s always a good idea to get to know your doctor. The best ones will take the time to get to know you a little so that you aren’t a complete stranger to them. In exchange, you can ask your doctor a few personal questions now and then that will help you get to know them better. You’ll feel more comfortable talking to your doctor about personal matters, which will make it easier for you to inform them of the health issues that you’ve been experiencing.
6) Have Additional Tests Ordered
On top of all of the other reasons listed here, your doctor can order additional tests at your annual exam. This goes beyond things like bloodwork and general screenings and veers into the territory of tests like MRIs, CT scans, and more. If any of your results seem unusual or you describe a medical malady that raises red flags, then your doctor can order these tests on the spot in order to diagnose you further.