Do you get a regular physical exam every year? If you do, you’re in a minority: only about one-fifth of Americans get regular physicals.
Most people go to the doctor when they’re sick or injured. Our Urgent Care facility is here for these emergencies. We also provide routine care, and there are many reasons why physical exams are important to schedule, even if you feel fine.
Hypertension Remains America’s Silent Killer
Blood pressure screening is our number one answer when asked, “Why are physical exams important?”
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is called the silent killer because most people don’t have any symptoms for it. Some might have headache or vomiting but assume they have mild flu or virus.
Hypertension is a major factor for stroke and heart attack — two of the five leading causes of premature death in the US. More than 80 million Americans have the condition according to the Texas Heart Institute, including 16 million who haven’t been diagnosed. And the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says more young people are being diagnosed with hypertension.
Americans Need to Update Their Vaccines!
- We provide the full range of CDC-recommended vaccines and boosters for infants, toddlers, children, and teens.
- We also vaccinate adults who are no longer protected against childhood diseases but need these protections for work or other circumstances. For example, healthcare workers need to be protected against Hepatitis B and many counties and cities advise or require school staff to get re-vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR).
- We urge adult patients to get a tetanus booster every ten years. Pregnant women should receive a Tdap vaccine, which combines protection against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. Each of these diseases can be fatal.
- We offer the shingles vaccine to avoid this painful, blistering disease caused by the same virus that brings chickenpox. (Vaccinating children against chickenpox will also prevent shingles later in life.)
- We stock seasonal flu shots and offer them to all patients, and have the pneumonia vaccine for patients over the age of 65.
Like many in the medical community, we are relieved that Florida is not among the states reporting measles cases in this year’s outbreak. Fifteen cases were reported in Florida in 2018, up from three in 2017.
Disease Screenings For Early Detection and Treatment
Many disease screens are arranged or performed during physical exams depending on what’s appropriate for the patient. For example, most women don’t need mammograms and ovarian cancer screens every year unless there is a family or personal history of the disease. Similarly, men don’t require prostate cancer screening until age 50 and most won’t need annual screens.
We recommend annual screening for melanoma or skin cancer. Living in the Sunshine State is great, but it’s also made us second in the nation for melanoma cases according to the Aim at Melanoma Foundation. Nearly ten percent of Floridians have skin cancer, which is caused by repeated, prolonged, and unprotected exposure to the sun’s UV rays.
We Provide Health Coaching
Lastly, a regular physical exam gives us the opportunity to speak to each patient about how he or she can take charge of their health and discuss:
- Why they need specific medication for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc., and how to take it (with food, before bed, etc.)
- Diet and exercise to control or even eliminate these conditions
- Sun protection
- Surviving flu season and viral outbreaks
When was the last time you or your child had a check-up? Put us on your schedule. Call us today at (561) 264-6208.