An annual physical exam is a great way for you and your doctor to review your health history.
Do you have questions about your well-being? Are you concerned about a health issue? At Monarque Health & Wellness, a family and functional medicine practice in Ashland, Oregon, we understand the importance of your health. We encourage you to be forthcoming with questions, so we can help ensure you get the treatment you need.
Family medicine is a type of primary care that focuses on the health of your entire family. We will act as your advocate for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of any health issues you might have. And since we also practice functional medicine, we focus on you as a whole patient, not just your symptoms or diagnosis. All questions are fair game.
We’ve put together a list of some common, important issues you might want to discuss with your doctor during your annual physical.
What is an annual physical?
Are you relatively healthy and rarely see your doctor during the year? An annual physical is a perfect opportunity for you to discuss your overall health, ask questions, and have the doctor perform tests to ensure you remain in good health.
The exact protocol varies from doctor to doctor, but you can expect some or all of the following:
Your doctor will review your past medical history and will ask if there are any changes. Those changes can be lifestyle habits including smoking, alcohol, diet, exercise regimen, etc. Your doctor will also ask whether you’re up-to-with vaccines and booster shots.
Your doctor will check your vital signs to make sure they’re okay. They include:
- Blood pressure
- Heart rate
- Respiration rate
- General appearance
Your doctor will also listen to your lungs, check your ears, bowel sounds, and use an electrocardiogram (EKG) to check your heart. There also might be a breast exam for women and a prostate exam for men.
What tests are performed during an annual physical?
While no laboratory tests are required for an annual physical, most doctors will order certain tests that give an indication of overall health. Some tests may require you to fast for up to 12 hours before, while others don’t.
The basic tests include:
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- Chemistry panel
- Urinalysis (UA)
- Lipid panel (cholesterol check for heart health)
- Blood sugar (especially if you have risk factors for diabetes)
What questions should you ask?
The main purpose of your annual physical is an exchange of information between you and your doctor, and that requires communication from both parties. Before you go to your exam, make some notes about any changes you’ve noticed in your health since your last visit, as well as specific questions you want to ask.
Some good questions to ask include:
- Are there any screening tests recommended for my age?
- Am I up-to-date on my vaccines? (in case the doctor neglects to mention)
- Do you see anything in my family history that puts me at risk for disease?
- Are there any lifestyle changes I should make to improve my health?
- Am I getting enough sleep?
- What type(s) of exercise are best for me?
- Will you be providing me with a copy of my test results?
- Should I continue taking all my medications, or do we need to change the dosage and/or regimen?
Is it time for your annual physical? Call Monarque Health & Wellness at 541-326-4777 to make an appointment or book one online. We’re here to provide you with comprehensive, compassionate medical care, and that includes answering all your health-related questions.