- by Super User
With such busy lives, constantly rushing from one activity to the next, it can be difficult to make time for yourself and your health. But having an annual physical exam is essential to keep you healthy and detect problems early when they are most treatable.
How do you get started?
Find a physician
First things first! Find a physician who accepts your insurance and with whom you can build a great relationship. This will increase your chances of scheduling and attending exams through the years. When choosing a physician, consider selecting one who works at an independent medical practice. Independent doctors are known for providing more personalized care and aren’t restricted to directing you to services within a certain health system or network. To search for independent doctors in Central Pennsylvania, visit the Find a Doctor tool on Medical Group of Pennsylvania’s website.
Relieve your pre-visit jitters by giving yourself plenty of time to find your doctor’s office, particularly if the office is located in a building with other medical offices or businesses. Aim to arrive at least 15 minutes early when visiting your doctor’s office for the first time. Bring your driver’s license or photo ID, and your insurance card if you have one. Fill out any forms before arriving that are on the doctor’s website for new patients or that the office mailed to you prior to your appointment.
Know what to expect
While each physician will have a slightly different exam procedure, typically your physician will ask about your family’s healthy history, check your vital signs and discuss any problems you’ve been having. Your physician may recommend having lab tests or bloodwork done depending on your age and health. Additionally, your physician may ask about your exercise and eating habits and give you suggestions to improve your health. WebMD also has a great article highlighting what to expect.
If you have specific questions about a physician office’s exam procedures, call before your appointment to get more information and ease any concerns you have.
Get a Doctor’s Note
If you took off work for your visit, you may need to provide your employer with a doctor’s note. Simply let your physician know and one will be provided for you.
Reward Yourself & Encourage Others
You scheduled and attended your annual physician appointment. Congratulations! You did it! Feel proud that you made an effort to take care of yourself. Treat yourself to a nice coffee on the way back to the office or take the family out for frozen yogurt. Rewarding yourself for a job well done can help you make it a habit (we all remember the lollipops we got after our physician appointments as kids, right?).
Now go forth and share your success with other men in your life. Men are far less likely than women to get an annual exam. Your encouragement could help them join the annual physical club!