Some things come around each year like clockwork: your birthday, holidays and your checkup with your primary care doctor. But unlike the cake and family celebrations, you might be tempted to skip your primary care visit. After all, you feel happy and healthy most days, so why bother heading to your annual wellness visit? Well, there are plenty of reasons to do so, and many of them can have a major impact on your health. Attending your annual physical exam is a helpful step toward leading a longer, healthier life. Here’s why you should make it a priority each year.
You’ll Stay Healthier
Even if you’re in great health and don’t have any major ailments, visiting your doctor on an annual basis can help you stay that way. Your doctor will be better able to catch bigger health issues before they have a chance to really develop — and when they’re easier to treat. Your annual primary care visit is an ideal time to undergo health screenings. These screenings can point out health concerns, even when you have no symptoms. Common examples of screening tests your doctor might want you to have include:
• Depression screening, which assesses your feelings about your mental health
• Cancer screenings, which can detect cancer before you start having symptoms and may be recommended if you have a family history of cancer
• Body Mass Index (BMI) evaluation, which your doctor can use to evaluate your weight and determine if you’d benefit from nutritional counseling
• STD screening, which detects the presence of various sexually transmitted diseases
You’ll Save Money
Only visiting a doctor once you have symptoms or aren’t feeling well can cost more for you in the long run. And that’s not just in terms of health, but also in terms of your finances. If you don’t have an established relationship with a primary care doctor — which you can build by going to annual wellness visits — you may not be able to get an appointment when you immediately need it. Having to go to the emergency room or an urgent care center for treatment can result in higher bills that count toward your deductible, which primary care visits often don’t incur.
You’ll Feel More Comfortable
Developing a relationship with your doctor isn’t all about saving money or enjoying the convenience of getting an appointment when you need it. Once you get to know your doctor by attending annual physical exams, you’ll feel more comfortable around him or her. And, when you’re at ease around your physician, it’ll feel more natural to ask him or her any personal health questions you have early on. You’ll have more peace of mind by getting answers when you need them, and your doctor will know what screenings to try or suggest habits to change to keep you your healthiest.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and your annual checkup is one valuable way to prevent health problems. Give us a call at 513-952-5000 or visit mercy.com today to schedule your primary care visit.