Your Annual Physical
Your body is your most precious asset and quite literally your personal investment in the future. At least once a year, it needs and deserves your undivided attention.
Welcome to the annual physical.
I understand all too well that many people are often scared of what might be found or are simply tired of hearing the broken record of “Eat less,” “Exercise more,” and “Reduce stress.” But whether its denial, an over-programmed life or just plain anxiety, nothing can rationalize away not taking care of your body- your future.
When performed with a thoroughness and personalization for your specific needs and concerns, a physical can help you take steps to improve your vitality, the quality of your life, and the length of your life. The annual physical is not only an assessment of where your health is today, but a time to re-invest in your health for the next year and beyond.
“Testing, Testing…One, Two, Three”
During the annual physical, I tailor the examination to the needs of the individual patient. I assess each patient’s general health and their most serious or looming health risks. This process allows me to recommend the most appropriate testing for each and every patient.
After checking your blood pressure, the physical examination allows doctors to feel for abnormalities that would be very difficult for you to find yourself by just pushing and prodding in front of a mirror. As physicians, we can check for problems such as suspiciously swollen glands, thyroid nodules, heart murmurs, and diseased internal organs.
In addition to the physical exam, the routine medical tests available for the annual physical include blood test, urine tests, heart monitoring, lung function assessments, ultrasound tests, MRI, CT Scans, X-rays, bone density measurements, and endoscopy testing (such as colonoscopy). Some of these tests are performed at the time of the physical and others
are arranged at another time.
Clearly, not every patient needs all of these tests, every year.
An important component to an annual physical is ultrasound technology. Using harmless “ultra” high-frequency sound waves, ultrasound testing lets us see the living body beneath the skin much like a glass-bottom boat lets passengers see what lives under the water’s surface. Silent killers like aneurysms, weakened heart valves, small (yet treatable) tumors, and partially blocked arteries can be detected before these conditions become life-threatening.
Western medicine has excelled in diagnostic advances and brought a new level of sophistication to the annual physical, allowing doctors to see ahead of the curves on your road to good health so we can guide you around potentially “deadly obstacles.”
Make the annual physical a gift to yourself on your birthday or a holiday gift for a loved one, so you can enjoy many, many more celebrations of life.