Why Do I Need an Annual Physical?

Annual physical exams are essential to maintaining your health. As part of preventive care, regular health exams are designed to detect potential problems before they start and to catch issues in their earliest stages before they get worse.

When life gets busy, maintenance care such as annual physicals is often the first thing that ends up on the back burner. Skipping or putting off your annual physical could have serious health consequences because visiting your primary care provider for your yearly physical is one of the best ways to stay healthy. 

Our board-certified internal medicine and primary care physician, Dr. Jonathan Leibowitz, is dedicated to keeping you well, and preventive health care plays a key role in this goal. Having an annual physical is one of the most important steps you can take in managing your health. Our experts have compiled some information on why you shouldn’t skip your yearly physical.

I’m in good health, so why do I need a physical?

All too often patients put off visiting their primary care physicians until they’re feeling sick. But managing your health wisely means attending regular checkups even when you’re in excellent health.

In fact, coming in to see Dr. Leibowitz when you feel fine is a powerful step in staying healthy. He can track your health and alert you to subtle changes that you may be unaware of. Detecting potential health problems as early as possible gives you the best chance of preventing chronic diseases. And many illnesses are more difficult to manage at later stages.

My last physical was fine, so why do I need another one?

You may wonder whether physical is really necessary every year. Even if you’re otherwise healthy, annual checkups are one of the best tools for tracking your health. Many chronic illnesses develop gradually and cause few or no symptoms in their earlier stages.

For instance, take high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, and elevated cholesterol. As your numbers creep up gradually, you may still feel perfectly fine. In fact, many people have these conditions and remain undiagnosed. 

Roughly 11 million adults who have hypertension are unaware of it and not receiving treatment to manage it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Another 7 million Americans are living with diabetes and do not know it. Yet a simple blood test at a yearly physical could bring it to light.

As you can see, failing to take advantage of preventive health exams may contribute to chronic diseases going undiagnosed.

What can I expect from my yearly physical?

Dr. Leibowitz will work with you to decide which key screenings are appropriate for you. 

Routine health testing may include: 

Dr. Leibowitz also updates your health history. Depending on your medical history and current health status, Dr. Leibowitz may order additional tests such as these:

If you’re otherwise healthy without significant risk factors, you may not need these tests. Dr. Leibowitz orders the appropriate screenings for your unique situation. 

Your annual physical is also a time to address any health issues that may have come up since your last visit, to ask any questions about your health that you may have, and address any concerns.

A once-a-year checkup can help prevent chronic disease so that you live a long, healthy life. To schedule your annual physical and for all of your primary care needs, contact our office in Brooklyn, New York, and speak with one of our helpful team members. Or you can book online today while you’re here on our website.

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