Benefits Of A Yearly Physical

An annual wellness visit is essential to maintain optimal physical and mental health. At the visit, a primary care provider (PCP) will collect a patient’s health history, order any necessary testing, and offer preventative care such as breast exams and vaccinations. People who visit a PCP once a year can enjoy many health benefits and an improved quality of life.


1. An ounce of prevention

In many instances, prevention of a disease is much easier than treatment of a disease. Preventative health is a great reason to visit a PCP annually. Women can benefit from breast exams and pap smears, while men should be sure to have a prostate exam done. Both genders should have blood work completed to screen for high cholesterol, blood sugar, optimal thyroid function, and vitamin deficiencies. Vaccinations are a great way to prevent illnesses like the flu. To stay as healthy as possible, people should stay current with any recommended vaccines.

2. Better disease control

Approximately 6 in 10 US adults have a chronic disease, and 4 in 10 have 2 or more diseases. Whether the issue is diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or lung disease, such chronic problems can have a negative effect on overall health. Proper control of the disease with lifestyle modifications and medication can prevent exacerbation. At an annual visit, the healthcare provider can assess the state of the disease, taking into account current symptoms and the effect on quality of life. The doctor can then recommend changes to medication regimens or lifestyle interventions to improve health status. Having a trusted provider to assist with disease management can make a big difference in long-term health.

3. Improved mental health

A visit to a primary care physician can offer many physical benefits, but that’s not all. A trusted PCP can also help manage mental health problems, which affect 1 in 5 US adults. During an annual exam, the doctor will evaluate family history and current psychological symptoms to determine if a problem like depression or anxiety is present. In many cases, the PCP can help manage the condition with prescription medication. Other times, a referral to a therapist or a psychiatrist may be warranted. If a patient is struggling with mental health, an annual visit is a great time to bring up and address the concern.

The power of the PCP

With so much to do on a day-to-day basis, many people are guilty of putting off an annual visit. However, this yearly appointment can make a big difference in overall health. A PCP can assist with conducting or ordering preventative testing such as cancer screenings. A provider can also help manage any chronic diseases at the appointment, slowing progression. Treatment of mental health conditions is another significant benefit of seeing a doctor yearly. With consistent annual visits, patients should see improvements in physical and mental health and enjoy a better overall quality of life.