While there are conflicting views among some medical professionals regarding the value of annual medical examinations, primary care physicians universally agree that expert medical treatment should include such exams. A poll conducted in late 2014 by the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that 92% of Americans agree. Around 62% of Americans have an annual physical examination by their primary care physician each year.
The Origin of Annual Physicals
Before the twentieth century, visiting the doctor was done on an as-needed and pay-as-you-can basis. Sickness was treated at home, unless symptoms persisted, and for most people who maintained a healthy, physical lifestyle, only an injury created a need for expert medical treatment. Insurance companies first began requiring physical examinations before granting life insurance coverage, and later, on a yearly basis. In 1922, the American Medical Association endorsed the practice, and family physicians began asking patients to schedule yearly exams.
How Do Annual Exams Contribute to Expert Medical Treatment?
Research has produced varying results regarding the usefulness of the annual physical exam, owing to differing demographic subsets and the types of exams studied. Medical professionals, including many primary care physicians who advocate the yearly physical, cite some hard-to-refute reasons for continuing the practice.
- Early Detection of Preventable, Treatable Conditions– Many medical conditions are either prevented altogether or treated more easily and cheaply when detected early. Yearly examinations, including blood and urine testing for underlying conditions, often reveal medical issues that would otherwise go unnoticed, until troublesome and persistent symptoms occur.
- Fostering the Patient-Physician Relationship– The relationship between a patient and a medical professional is unique. Expert medical treatment often depends upon early diagnosis and treatment of medical issues. This requires the patient to be completely honest about their lifestyle, habits, ailments, and general well-being. As the patient-physician relationship grows, so does the trust within that relationship, allowing the patient a greater freedom to share necessary personal information.
- Health Insurance Requirements– Perhaps due to the above two reasons, many health insurance companies require policyholders to submit to an annual physical examination. Adherence to this policy results in reduced insurance premiums and a more focused outlook on the patient’s overall health.
Schedule Your Annual Physical Today
If you or someone you love have delayed a regular medical examination for any reason, now is the time to change that behavior. With advances in research and technology, early detection of underlying medical conditions is easier and more important than ever before. The key to receiving expert medical treatment for any issue is early detection that leads to timely corrective measures.
Contact the caring medical staff at PCP for Life to schedule your next physical examination and make it a yearly practice for good health and peace of mind. We have eight locations throughout the great state of Texas, to serve your medical needs. Search for the nearest location online,call 281-968-4096 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for scheduling information.