Your annual health assessment offers physicians a window into the current state of your health. Unlike a visit to the doctor to address specific maladies and illnesses, this visit relatively acts as a barometer for your overall health and wellbeing. It is a more involved appointment that addresses all aspects of your health and serves as a full body medical exam.
It is essential to take advantage of these annual screenings in order to maintain and safeguard your good health, but also to serve as a comparison for following years so you can identify changes and challenges that need to be addressed or that may serve as signs of symptoms of further problems.
What Will Your Annual Health Assessment Involve?
Many people who have never completed a full body checkup are surprised by the thoroughness of the visit. Expect a complete examination and to answer questions about your lifestyle, health, and family history.
Also, come to this appointment prepared with a list of questions you have for your physician. The more you know about your health, the better prepared you are to make informed decisions to safeguard it. You know your body better than anyone else and you know when things aren’t functioning as before. Point these things out and make sure that they aren’t warning signs of other conditions or illnesses.
The five-hour visit involves up to 15 diagnostic tests to determine the overall state of your health. This full medical checkup is conducted within a comfortable clinic with an on-site lab where your results are provided within the course of your visit allowing you to discuss concerns immediately with your physician at the end of the visit.
This will not be a rushed visit. Instead, you will discuss your health with various physicians and health care professionals who will listen to your questions and make sure you have all the answers you need so that you can be an active participant in your own health care planning.
Screenings and Tests to Expect During Your Full Medical Examination
There are many things that you will explore during your medical examination. Your physical exam will include things like vital signs assessments, vaccination reviews, and an abdominal ultrasound allowing a clear view of the major blood vessels, kidneys, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and spleen.
You will go through a cardiovascular review that explores the state of your cardiovascular health is you’re over the age of 35, measures lung capacity and respiratory function, and an ankle brachial index that looks for narrowing or hardening of your peripheral arteries. You will go through a full panel of blood and urine testing to look for problems with or conditions like:
- Heart disease
- Thyroid Function
- Kidney Problems
- Liver Problems
You will also go through hearing and vision screenings, a three-part fitness assessment (involving muscle and joint fitness, anthropometric fitness, and cardiopulmonary fitness), a nutrition assessment, and social and mental well-being reviews – because good health goes deeper than physical health.
Women should also expect a full body checkup for women that delves into issues specific to your needs, reproductive health, and other concerns you may have on a case by case basis.
While it may seem like a huge investment of time and energy, the payoff is better health and more time and energy to focus on the things you really love in life. Five hours a year is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes with managing your health properly and effectively.