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A primary care physician talks with her male patient about his wellness plan while they wear masks.

Why should you get an annual physical?

A regular physical, often referred to as an "annual physical" or "routine check-up," is a healthcare appointment that individuals typically schedule once a year with their primary care physician or healthcare provider. The purpose of a regular physical is to assess and monitor your overall health and well-being.

Whether your child is going back to school or gearing up for school sports, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group can make sure it’s safe for him or her to engage in physical activity. Schedule an appointment for a sports physical or wellness exam today!

What to expect during an annual physical

  • Review and update personal and family health history
  • Review and update current medications and supplements
  • Address health issues or acute illnesses
  • Assess immunization history and administer appropriate vaccinations
  • Conduct a physical examination
  • Evaluate appropriate health screening needs
  • Schedule appropriate follow-ups or referrals


How often should I get a physical?

The frequency of getting a physical examination can vary depending on your age, health status, and risk factors. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Young and healthy adults: For individuals in their 20s and 30s who are generally healthy, a physical every 2-3 years may be sufficient.
  • Adults with chronic conditions: If you have chronic medical conditions or are taking medications regularly, your doctor may recommend annual physicals to monitor your health.
  • Seniors: As you get older, annual physicals become more important for early detection of age-related health issues.
  • Children and adolescents: Pediatricians often recommend annual check-ups for children and teenagers to monitor growth and development.


Benefits of annual physicals

  • Early disease detection: Physicals allow healthcare providers to detect health issues at an early stage, often before symptoms appear. Early detection can significantly improve the chances of successful treatment and better health outcomes.
  • Preventive care: Physicians use physicals to assess your risk factors for various diseases and provide guidance on preventive measures. This may include vaccinations, lifestyle changes, or screenings for conditions like high blood pressurehigh cholesterol, and diabetes.
  • Personalized health plans: Based on your individual health status, physicals enable healthcare providers to create personalized health plans and recommendations tailored to your specific needs. This can include diet and exercise advice, medication adjustments, or referrals to specialists.
  • Health education: During physicals, doctors often take the time to educate patients about healthy habits and behaviors. They can provide valuable information on nutritionexercise, and stress management to help you maintain or improve your health.
  • Medication management: For individuals taking medications, physicals offer an opportunity to review and adjust prescriptions as needed. This ensures that medications are effective and safe, minimizing potential side effects.

Featured Updates

Guide to self-care for caregivers + free habit tracker

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Check out these helpful resources on understanding caregiver burnout, how to ask for caregiver support, and taking breaks to get the self-care you need.

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