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The Importance of Having an Annual Physical – Even if You Feel Fine

Have you avoided going to the doctor for a checkup for a few years? Whether you're avoiding going because you don’t want to get a prick for a blood test, or think you don’t have time, or for another reason, you still need to get an annual physical.

In this blog, board-certified physician Anthony Avitabile, DO, at RiverCity Family Medicine, PLLC, explains why regular checkups are important. The following are four good reasons why you should never skip your annual physical

1. Some disease symptoms don’t manifest in the early stages 

Is your rationale for not seeing a doctor that you’re not sick? You may not have a cough or the flu, but some diseases don’t provide warning signs that they’ve taken a foothold in your body. It’s great if you don’t experience pain, discomfort, or other symptoms on a day-to-day basis, but an absence of symptoms doesn’t mean you’re healthy. 

Things can go wrong internally without showing signs on the outside, and you’d never know it unless you got checked by a physician. For example, high blood pressure is called the “silent killer,” because it usually shows no symptoms until a major event happens, such as a stroke or heart attack.

2. Early treatment can save your life 

Blood and other tests done at an annual physical exam can reveal changes in your body’s health that need attention. Early treatment for cancer and many other health conditions can help you continue your normal routine, and it can also save your life. 

3. You’ll know if you need to see a specialist 

A screening test at an annual physical may reveal an abnormality that needs a specialist’s attention, such as a thyroid issue. Your doctor will likely know many medical and health professionals in the area and should be able to point you in the right direction. If you have a health condition that falls outside of their purview, they can refer you to the appropriate specialist.

4. You can form a trusting relationship with your doctor

As you see your primary care physician over the years, you can develop a trusting, comfortable relationship, which can help you feel free to communicate your concerns. The American College of Surgeons says trust is the keystone of the physician-patient relationship. 

Continuity and comprehensiveness are also critical to receiving adequate care, and only a doctor who knows you can provide that level of treatment. Getting an annual physical will ensure that your doctor has an accurate and complete record of your health, which will allow your provider to connect any potential dots.

To get a physical, book an appointment online or over the phone with RiverCity Family Medicine, PLLC today.

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