Why You Should Never Skip an Annual Physical

Even if your annual physical seems like an unneeded inconvenience, it's important to make and keep that appointment.

Making time for your annual physical might seem like an unnecessary inconvenience, especially at a time of year when everyone seems to be busy. Still, it's important to make and keep that appointment! During your annual physical exam, your primary care doctor gathers important information about your health and overall well-being.

At Columbia Internal Medicine in Castleton, New York, Dr. Padma Sripada, a board-certified internist, offers the highest quality primary health care to patients. Here are some of the key indicators she looks for during your annual physical:

Changes in your baseline

Each year, Dr. Sripada observes your biometric data, comparing your current health with information from previous years. If needed, she can discuss any troubling changes with you at your appointment, and suggest possible treatments or adjustments to get you back on track.

Early indicators of disease

Getting regular physicals gives you the best possible chance of catching early indicators of serious conditions. Long before you start to feel sick, indicators in your overall health can signal the presence of diseases or other serious conditions. At your physical, Dr. Sripada can check for and identify these early warning signs.

Many serious conditions have better treatment outcomes before they progress, so early detection and diagnosis can be life-saving. Skipping your annual physical could allow diseases like cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or heart disease to get a stronger hold on your health. This could make treatment more difficult and expensive, and might reduce your chances for complete healing. Your annual physical is key to getting you prompt and affordable treatment.

Updated information

If you're taking any medications, it's good to reassess and update your prescriptions and doses once a year. You can also discuss other potentially helpful medications. If you're due for a mammogram, colonoscopy, or other screening in the following year, Dr. Sripada reminds you at your exam.

Immunizations also need to be updated regularly. Your annual physical is an opportunity for you to get your flu shot and discuss the need for any other immunizations.

Your annual physical is also an opportunity to update your personal and insurance information, so everything stays accurate in our records and we can better provide for your current and future health care needs.

When you come in for your annual physical, Dr. Sripada takes a comprehensive, whole-person approach to your health. She reviews your health history and takes your vitals, checking on your current physical, emotional, and mental well-being. If you need referrals to other specialists for any follow-up treatment, our office can help. 

To begin building a primary care provider relationship with Dr. Sripada, schedule an appointment today by calling our Castleton, New York, office.

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