For many men, doing some of the routine steps to leading a healthy life are a priority — eating healthy, exercising regularly, avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol use, and reducing stress. However, maybe the most important step (getting regular checkups and screenings) is often ignored.
It’s important for men of every age to see a primary care physician annually, if possible, even if they consider themselves to be a healthy individual. Annual visits give patients and their providers a baseline of health, help diagnose underlying conditions that may not be obvious and wellness screenings can give the patient and health care provider a better idea of what to keep an eye on.
“If you aren’t seeing your primary care physician annually, you may not be aware of an underlying condition until it’s turned more serious,” said John R. Roberts, DO, a family medicine specialist with Maury Regional Medical Group Primary Care. “More men need to incorporate annual checkups into their health routine.”
According to a study by the Cleveland Clinic, only half of men surveyed said they considered getting an annual checkup a regular part of routine self-care. About two-thirds of men also said they tended to wait as long as possible to see a doctor if they had any illness symptoms or an injury.
There could be countless reasons why men don’t choose to see a doctor regularly — lack of health insurance, fear of the diagnosis, preference to self-diagnosing or believing the old myth that going to the doctor makes men less manly. None of these should prevent you from having an annual checkup, though. It’s the easiest and most cost-effective way to get the care you need.
During an annual visit with your primary care provider, the physician will most likely do the following health checks:
Take your blood pressure
Take your measurements (height and weight)
Check your eyes, ears, abdomen, thyroid glands and lymph nodes for any abnormalities
Listen to your heart and lungs
Ask to schedule a blood draw to assess common health indicators, such as glucose and cholesterol
Ask about any chronic conditions you are managing
Provide personalized guidance for your specific needs
In addition, certain screenings may be necessary, depending on your age and family history, including for lung, prostate, colorectal and testicular cancers.
“Annual health screenings really are our best tool for finding signs and symptoms of these ailments early,” Roberts said. “The earlier we can find a potential problem, the better. That’s why it’s so important to see your primary care physician regularly.”
Maury Regional Health makes it easy for patients to find a primary care physician and schedule annual checkups.
To find a primary care provider near you, use the “Find A Doctor” tool at MauryRegional.com and search by specialty, or go to MauryRegionalMedicalGroup.com for an overview of all primary care practices and providers in the Maury Regional Medical Group network.
Maury Regional Health also offers self-scheduled wellness screenings that do not require a physician’s order. To register, call 931.380.4044.
Don’t put it off any longer. Schedule an annual checkup today.
John R. Roberts, DO