It is easy to see an annual checkup coming up on the calendar and feel like the previous appointment was not too long ago, so you might wonder what the harm is in skipping just this once. Ditching a checkup with your doctor will reward you with short-term benefits of additional free time but at a dangerous cost. Checkup appointments are important for maintaining good health, and skipping the chance to be reassured of this will only cause harm later. Consider booking in for your annual checkup if you could not find the time before.
The Purpose of a Checkup
Checkups with a primary care physician are usually scheduled annually and consist of a physical examination to assess general health. These appointments are important for building a relationship with the doctor so that it is a more comfortable experience and that there are records to reflect on when changes in the body occur. The examination usually consists of a stethoscope to listen to the heart and lungs, a technique known as percussion where the surface of the body will be tapped to check for abnormal fluid retention, and finally, height, weight, and pulse checks. Sometimes blood tests will be done to help determine general health and detect any health risks early. The main benefits of a checkup include:
Peace of Mind
Even though people assume typing into a search engine is the best place to find out everything they need, primary care physicians study for many years to develop expert knowledge and skills. Professionals are much better sources of medical information and can assess your personal worries with direct contact. During a checkup appointment, any concerns can be discussed in a safe space for peace of mind. It is better to know the results than wonder what they could be.
Many people put off annual checkups due to the time it takes out of their normal routine. However, delaying the appointment might mean that health risks remain undetected and require more medical attention. This is more disruptive to a schedule than simply attending an examination once a year, especially if signs of severe health risks are ignored, as this can lead to emergency surgery or care and unexpected costs. Making sure to attend annual checkups will save time by clearing any health worries and confirming good health.
It is becoming easier than ever to schedule time for healthcare checks, with online services like NHS GP launching to digitize healthcare around the world.
Annual checkups are not only good for identifying severe health problems but also smaller areas for improvement. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about habits to adopt to contribute to better health and wellbeing or current habits that are harmful and need to be dropped. Options to receive support in dropping habits like smoking are made possible with discussions during a checkup appointment. It is a great opening to ask the doctor for advice and guidance on making lifestyle changes.
You should avoid skipping checkup appointments with your doctor for peace of mind, to save time later, and to find out how to improve your health. Take the opportunity of one-to-one communication with your primary care physician to have your medical concerns eliminated. The short-term commitment of making it to a checkup for a physical examination offers more benefits than skipping. Consider booking in for your annual checkup if you have not done so already.