The Importance of an In-Person Physical

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The Importance of an In-Person Physical

During the COVID-19 pandemic, patients are understandably hesitant to go into their doctor’s office. Although telemedicine is a reliable option, seeing your doctor in person is invaluable. We are still encouraging patients to schedule their annual physicals! 

 We would much rather see you when you are well and catch illnesses when they are just beginning and often asymptomatic.

The purpose of an annual wellness check is to prevent illness and screen for conditions that could jeopardize your health. As an example, the majority of those who learn at their annual physical that they have early diabetes or elevated cholesterol were unaware of these problems prior to the physical. In addition, we ensure that your mental health is in a good place as we screen for depression and anxiety, which is especially important during these challenging times.  If you are over the age of 65, Medicare covers your annual wellness exam to ensure that you are receiving all recommended screening tests and immunizations, as well as assessing concerns like bone health and risk for future falls.

Our offices are among the safest places to be.

I would not tell any of my patients to come into the office if I thought it was not safe. We follow many precautions to ensure your safety. All staff and patients are required to wear face masks, which significantly decreases the spread of infection. All patients are screened with measurement of their temperature prior to check-in. Waiting rooms are set up to minimize contact and maintain physical distance. We sanitize patient rooms after each visit.

You can discuss the pros and cons of a COVID-19 antibody test.

Your annual wellness exam is a good opportunity to discuss concerns about possible previous COVID-19 exposure and if antibody testing is right for you. Given the complexities of the test results, it is best to make a decision about whether testing is right for you after a discussion with your doctor. If a decision is made to test, then interpretation of the test results can be done by your physician. Sensenbrenner Primary Care can do onsite antibody testing with a 24 hour result turnaround.

It’s covered by insurance.

Most insurance plans cover an annual wellness visit because the goal is to prevent you from getting sick and to encourage maintenance of long-term healthy behaviors. Understanding what your insurance covers may help you determine ahead of time the topics you would like to discuss with your doctor.

Telemedicine is great, but nothing replaces human interaction and personal relationships.

During COVID-19, telemedicine has been great for providing care while keeping everyone safe. Certainly, if you have concerns or a special circumstance that prevents you from coming into the office, we can help decide if a virtual exam is available for your concerns. However, an annual physical is meant to be in-person for very good reasons! The nature of the conversation you have in person is more intimate and open, allowing you to share something you might not feel as comfortable sharing in an online conversation. The eye contact you share with your doctor is an important part of building a strong relationship. In addition, virtual visits do not allow for the completion of a physical exam, which often yields important findings, such as an unrecognized heart murmur or abnormal breath sounds.


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