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Do I Need an Annual Physical?

Do I Need an Annual Physical?

Scheduling Your Routine Wellness Visits

Your annual physical is a critical way to keep track of your health and catch any problems early. But how often do you need one? And what can you expect from the exam? Here's a breakdown of everything you need to know.

How Often Should I Go to the Doctor?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how often you should get a physical, as it depends on factors such as age, gender and overall health. However, the general recommendation is that adults of all ages have a physical at least once every three years. However, annually is the best way to catch any problems early. Once you turn 50, you should start seeing your doctor routinely each year.

Children's Health

Children always should visit their doctor for an annual physical before the school year begins. These visits not only ensure your child is up to date on their immunizations to prevent childhood disease but also they also your child's doctor to check your child’s development.

Women's Health

For women specifically, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends yearly well-woman visits starting at aged 21. These visits are essential in addition to your routine wellness exam for maintaining your reproductive health. You may have screenings for conditions such as cervical cancer and STDs at your appointment.

Women also can be screened for high cholesterol at aged 45 and osteoporosis at aged 65.

For more information on women's health screenings, visit:

Men's Health

It's vital for men aged 50 to start getting annual physicals, as this is the age when many health problems could begin to develop. These physicals may include screenings for prostate cancer and heart disease.

For more information on men's health screenings, visit:

Underlying Conditions

Your doctor may recommend a different schedule for wellness exams depending on your risk factors and health status. If you have any chronic health conditions such as an existing heart condition or diabetes, you will likely need to see your doctor more often.

Benefits of an Annual Visit

It is a good idea to stay up-to-date with your routine physicals and wellness visits. This way, you can catch any potential health problems early, and get the necessary treatment. Here are some ways our patients benefit from a yearly check:

  • Helps you stay up to date on all vaccinations and screenings
  • Develops a relationship with your primary care physician
  • Catches symptoms of disease early so it can be treated
  • Reduces health care costs with more extensive procedures

Remember, even if you're healthy now, it's never too late to start taking even better care of yourself!

Protecting Your Family's Health

Southwest General Medical Group, Inc. includes primary and specialty care physicians committed to providing patients with high-quality medical care. To learn more about our primary and specialty care services or to schedule an appointment, visit our website.