In today’s non-stop world, everyone is busy, busy, busy. Probably the last thing on your mind is scheduling an annual visit with a primary care doctor. Women may be even less inclined to do so if they’ve already had their annual checkup with their OB-GYN, for example. As a primary care doctor, I cannot stress enough how important it is to address preventative care measures, nutritional and lifestyle goals, and to oversee the full spectrum of your health care journey.
The importance of primary care
Primary care doctors focus on the entire picture of an individual’s health – your background, medications, health conditions – anything and everything. Specialty doctors (who are all phenomenal physicians) will focus more on one specific aspect of your health, while a primary care doctor will look at the whole person.
Personally, I will work with each of my patients to address all of their concerns and how it all relates back to their overall health. I will tailor a plan for each patient based on their specific health concerns and lifestyle goals. I also work with my patients to discuss preventative care measures and nutritional values that can improve their general well-being.
How often does an adult need a physical?
I recommend my patients come in for a physical exam yearly. Some people may choose to wait three or four years, but many things can change during that time and unfortunate events could occur even at young ages. Checking in on your health every year is important, as it provides a baseline understanding of your health for both you and the doctor. If someone has a complicated health history, I may recommend they come in more frequently.
What to expect at an annual physical:
A physical examination will take about 30 – 45 minutes and a doctor will:
• Discuss any health concerns – as silly as they might seem, now is the time to discuss them.
• Discuss preventative health measures like mammograms, colonoscopies, nutritional goals, family history, and more.
• Make sure you’re up to date on vaccinations.
• Complete blood work.
The COVID-19 pandemic struck many of us in terrible ways, and many people abstained from doctors for two to three years. Now that we’re returning to a more normal cadence of life, we’re urging everyone to get back to their health and scheduling a primary care visit is a great way to do just that.
About the Author
Jennifer Chovitch, DO, is a primary care physician at Stamford Health Medical Group in Norwalk. Her specialty is family medicine and she is accepting new patients.