Physical Exams are Important at All Ages

You feel great. You don’t have any ailments or sickness complaints so why go to the doctor? Just as children do annual well visits, so should adults. These well visits, or physicals, are an opportunity to get screened for health conditions and discuss with your doctor how to maintain or improve your overall health.

Knowing your basic numbers

A few basic screenings are done at your well visit. This includes:

  • Stepping on the scale to check your weight. Some doctors then calculate your BMI (body mass index) to show if you are within a healthy range for your height.
  • Your temperature is checked at doctor’s visits. A high temperature is an indication of illness.
  • You’ll put your arm in a sleeve so that your blood pressure can be monitored. Your blood pressure readings are an indication of heart health.
  • Many doctors will recommend fasting blood work. This is often for a complete metabolic panel to indicate any issues with your kidneys, liver, blood chemistry, and immune system. Family history can indicate additional need for a diabetes screening, thyroid check, or a lipid panel (which is a cholesterol test). 
  • A physical exam allows the doctor to listen to your heart and lungs with a stethoscope. 
  • If you don’t go to a dermatologist, you can also discuss any skin issues with your doctor. If you have spots that have seemed to change, be sure to point these out.
  • Your doctor can also discuss additional tests that are age appropriate. Maybe this is a mammogram or a colonoscopy.


At these visits, your doctor will review your vaccinations and see if you are up to date CDC recommended immunizations. With every age group, there are vaccinations that are particularly important to reduce the risk of illness. 

Talk to your doctor

It’s important to have open dialog with your doctor during these annual visits. What has changed? Have you gained weight without changing your diet or lifestyle? Maybe parts of your body are hurting more than they used to. Do you have difficulty sleeping? Do you have difficulty staying engaged with others? Any issues whether physical or emotional can be discussed during this visit. Your body works together as a whole. If part of your body isn’t functioning at top performance, it will negatively impact other parts of your body and daily life. 

Why are these visits so important

Annual visits with your primary care physicians help you to form a relationship with your doctor and have a baseline for your overall health. You are able to track progress toward your health goals or notice any declines with these visits. These visits allow for early diagnosis of health concerns. Issues left untreated can be life threatening. 

If you or your family is needing a primary care physician, our team at Healthstar Physicians Premier Medical is here for your family. We’re Newport’s compassionate and experienced healthcare provider. We’re accepting new patients, and we accept most forms of health insurance. Contact us to find out more.

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