5 Reasons Why Physical Exams Are Important… Even if You Feel Fine

October 10, 2023

“I don’t need to see a doctor I’m not sick!”

Sound familiar? Only people in poor health see doctors regularly, right? Wrong.

The best time to get into an annual routine with doctor visits is when you’re well. This goes for the entire family.

There’s a trend emerging in conventional care that puts less emphasis on annual physicals. Rumor has it that many conventional care providers are too busy these days to conduct a thorough physical exam on a healthy person.

To us, this is shameful. Concierge healthcare seeks to prevent illnesses before they happen, and we can only do that by seeing you annually, even when you’re feeling your best.

Let’s explore why physical exams are important and why they’re the foundation of preventive health.

Infographic: 5 Reasons Why Physical Exams Are Important... Even if You Feel Fine

5 Reasons Why Physical Exams Are Important

1. Your regular office visit can help us detect problems you can’t see yet.

You don’t need to manifest an actual ailment in order for us to discover existing problems. Certain issues might not trigger visible symptoms right away, but with routine testing, we find them lurking. For example, perhaps we’ll catch a lung issue early simply because we’re listening to the lungs in the screening process.

Your annual physical should leave you feeling informed and empowered, with a clearer view of your health.

2. Seeing you regularly helps us document and analyze trends in your profile.

By checking up on you consistently, we get to know what’s normal for you, so there’s a greater chance we’ll notice something irregular before it worsens.

For example, many cancers are caught when they’re already flourishing. But with regular proactive screenings, we can spot trends and avert tumors and other abnormalities before they fully develop. I saw an unusual test result with liver enzymes in one of my regular patients; further testing turned up a potential issue with pancreatic cancer that we addressed immediately.

Regular testing becomes particularly important if you have a family history of certain diseases.

We can also flag any behavioral shifts that seem relatively harmless now but could impact your health down the road. For instance, it’s a lot easier for us to help you correct a slow but steady weight gain today than a decade down the line when it’s impacting your health. By understanding your behavior and tendencies, we can make recommendations that are practical for you.

3. A regular office visit strengthens your relationship with your doctor.

Building a strong two-way relationship with your doctor is a plus for you and your family. That’s what concierge medicine is all about.

It’s vital that you and your doctor understand, like, and trust each other. When you do, the two of you will feel comfortable discussing any and all physical concerns and communicating factors that could impact your mental or emotional well-being.

4. Seeing your doctor routinely is an investment in your health.

People understand the concept of financial investment: A little cash invested now bears fruit in the future. Your regular annual exam is the same kind of investment — a small commitment of your time that can pay huge dividends.

Similar to a financial advisor, as I get to know your goals and why they’re important to you, I can tailor the practical advice I give. Knowing how you envision your future gives me the context I need to make health recommendations you can follow to get there.

5. A regular office visit can keep you up-to-date with vaccines and aware of innovations.

At a minimum, your family’s normal health maintenance should include staying up-to-date on vaccines, boosters, and regular screenings or procedures.

The field of medicine sees advances virtually every day. When we see you regularly, we can keep you informed of recent clinical research on vaccines, screenings, or procedures that may benefit your health. There’s always something new to talk about that may change your life for the better.

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Why Physical Exams Are Important: Final Thoughts

Now that you know why physical exams are important, we’d love to see you and your family more often, even when you’re not sick.

Your Priority Physicians value the opportunity to develop a great relationship with you. With an annual physical exam and a conversation about how you’re doing and where you see yourself going, we can give you practical advice that will keep you as healthy as possible.

That’s truly the heart of concierge medicine and direct primary care.

Dr. Jonathan Schmidt

Dr. Schmidt is a board-certified family medicine physician with undergraduate degrees in Microbiology and medicine from Southern Illinois University and the University of Illinois. He completed his residency at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in South Bend, IN and has a passion for putting his patients first in his practice. In his free time, Dr. Schmidt enjoys spending time with his family and participating in outdoor activities such as water sports and woodworking.

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