Don't Skip Your Annual Physical From the Expert August 5, 2021 By: Lindsey Christianson, DO You know to call the doctor when you feel sick or experience an injury, but seeing your primary care provider when you are feeling healthy can actually benefit you more than you may realize. Primary care providers are here to be your partner in your long-term health goals. They may be a physician, a physician assistant, or a nurse practitioner. The important thing is to find someone you are comfortable sharing your medial history, questions, and concerns with. Primary care providers are trained to spot and manage health problems, including chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease. These are some of the biggest health threats in our country, and they often hide in plain sight. Annual physicals are the best chance to catch these and treat them before they turn into a problem. This is especially true for adults. Annual physicals are the time for you to address any nagging concerns you’ve put off, or to discuss lifestyle changes which may keep you healthy. Annual physicals are key to not only prevention, but also to early detection which leads to better health outcomes. Your Primary Care Provider Can Also Help You: Stay on Track with Cancer Screenings: It’s important to check and see if you are due for a mammogram or a colonoscopy. If so, we can discuss how and where you would get those screenings scheduled. We know that the earlier cancer is caught, the better the outcomes are going to be. Make Sure your Labs are Up-To-Date: Knowing numbers helps to create a plan. For example, when was the last time you checked your blood sugar? If your blood sugar is in the pre-diabetic range, then we have time to get you education and make a plan to change your diet to prevent it from developing into full diabetes. Stay Up-To-Date on Vaccines: Taking a vaccination may prevent you from contracting something that could be devastating. You have likely heard about the COVID vaccine or the flu vaccine, but did you know that adults should get a tetanus booster shot every 10 years? Certain adults might also benefit from being vaccinated against HPV, shingles, and other infectious diseases. Get in touch with a Specialist: If you need more specialized testing or care, your primary care provider can make referrals and help you to decide on the best next steps. Check in on your Mental Health: Your mental health has never been more important. Everyone’s life was changed or disrupted in some way by the COVID-19 pandemic and felt an uptick in stress, anxiety, and grief. The role of your primary care provider is to make you aware of what is out there and make sure that you have a provider you are able to contact if or when you have a need. At Broadlawns, we always want patients to remember that we are here to care for their health and their body, so any action taken – labs, screenings, vaccinations, or referrals – are always their choice to make. If you are looking for a primary care provider, the Broadlawns Primary Care Clinic is here to help. The clinic provides comprehensive individual and family health care to meet your needs. We focus on developing long-term relationships with our patients and providing a permanent medical home for family members of all ages to see the same doctor on a continuing basis. Annual Physicals at Broadlawns Located on the Broadlawns Main Campus, the Broadlawns Primary Care Clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Appointments may be scheduled by calling (515) 282-2273. All forms of insurance, including Medicaid and Medicare, are accepted.