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6 Reasons to Schedule Your Annual Physical

August 13, 2015

The annual wellness visit, as it is now called, plays a vital role in keeping you healthy.

“It is extremely important, as it is a conduit to help patients age gracefully and in the healthiest possible way,” says Dr. Jennica Ng, MD, a family medicine doctor at Duke Primary Care Knightdale.

Why You Need an Annual Physical

At your annual physical, your doctor will:

  1. Update your vaccines. Depending on your age, you may need a new vaccine or a booster shot of another.
  2. Ensure you meet screening guidelines. Do you need a colonoscopy or bone density screening this year? Your physician will let you know and can coordinate the tests.
  3. Update your electronic medical record. The wellness exam lets your doctor input changes, such as a recent surgery.
  4. Discuss new prevention and treatment recommendations. Treatments and guidelines for screenings change over time. The well visit brings your care up-to-date.
  5. Provide guidance on reducing your risk for disease. Your doctor can provide information -- and motivation -- to stop smoking, lose unhealthy pounds or manage risk factors like high blood pressure.
  6. Manage your medications. Your doctor will want to make sure your prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs and supplements don’t interact with each other. Your doctor can also help you manage side effects.

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