Seeing the doctor when you’re sick is a no-brainer. When you feel fine, it can be tempting to avoid the doctor altogether. But skipping your annual exam can cause more problems in the future. Having a yearly physical is one of the wisest decisions you can make for your future self.
At Desert Star Family Planning, DeShawn Taylor, MD, MSc, FACOG, helps patients in Phoenix, Arizona, stay healthy with annual physical exams focused on each patient’s unique needs. In this post, learn about eight benefits you can reap from your annual exam this year — and every year.
1. They spot problems in their early stages
Many acute and chronic diseases and conditions cause few or no symptoms in their early stages. That means it’s too easy to delay care until the problem moves into a more advanced and noticeable stage. Unfortunately, delaying care means treatment can be more complex and more costly.
Your annual physical includes an array of evaluations and tests to help spot problems as early as possible so we can map out a treatment plan focused on preventing serious complications. We can also provide referrals to specialists when needed.
2. They help you get important preventive care
Annual physicals don’t just identify current medical issues. They help you take steps to prevent problems in the future, too.
Pelvic exams, mammograms, Pap smears, and HPV testing are some ways Dr. Taylor helps you stay healthy at every stage of life. She also checks your blood pressure, weight, cholesterol, glucose level, and other important markers to help you prevent disease and live your healthiest life. Plus, she can recommend vaccinations to prevent major diseases in the future.
3. They provide an ongoing record of your health
Annual exams make it easier to record key health data, including your weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, and any treatments or surgeries you’ve had. Having a detailed record of your wellness history enables Dr. Taylor to recommend preventive strategies and spot tiny signs that could indicate a problem in its earliest stages.
4. They make sure your health needs are met as you age
Your age affects your health in lots of ways. For women especially, health needs and risks change dramatically as you near and enter menopause. Annual exams help ensure your medical care stays attuned to your evolving needs so you can feel confident about your health as you age.
5. They help you understand your disease risk factors
Annual physicals are also a good time to learn about your unique risk factors for chronic diseases. Family history, age, medical history, and many lifestyle factors all affect your wellness over time. Knowing your risk factors can help you take important steps to reduce your risks of serious medical problems in the future.
6. They give you a chance to discuss concerns
Your annual physical provides you with the opportunity to discuss any health concerns you have and to ask questions about birth control, pregnancy planning, fertility issues, STDs, stress or depression, menopause, and other issues important to you. It’s also a time to learn about health-related topics and lifestyle changes that can support your overall wellness.
7. They help you manage existing health issues
If you have a chronic health issue, like diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure, your annual physical is the ideal time to review your current treatment plan and make adjustments as needed. It’s also a good time to review your current medications to ensure they’re still appropriate.
8. They support a strong patient-doctor relationship
Seeing your doctor regularly helps establish a bond of trust that can make discussing even the most sensitive health issues easier. When you feel comfortable talking to your doctor, you also gain peace of mind from knowing you’re getting the most appropriate care for your unique and changing needs.
Scheduling a physical exam is a great way to start the new year, and by making it part of your new year routine, you can be sure you won’t forget to schedule exams in the future, too. To make an appointment for your annual physical exam, call 480-447-8857 or book an appointment online with Dr. Taylor and the Desert Star Family Planning team today.