What to Know About Annual History and Physical Examinations
Sandy Springs Internal Medicine is committed to providing quality, compassionate care. Our concierge medical practice model allows us to provide patients with personalized services, top-notch assistance and unparalleled care. While we offer a variety of healthcare services to our patients, the annual history and physical examination has remained the cornerstone of our practice. Since this annual examination is so important to us, we want our patients to understand the significant ways it can benefit their health and wellbeing.
Why should I get an annual physical examination?
We commonly tell our patients that “the worst annual exam is no exam at all.” Annual physical examinations are important because they provide a health baseline and help to strengthen the patient-physician relationship. These visits allow patients to connect with their physician and establish trust. Patients can also share their healthcare preferences with their physician before an illness occurs. This gives you the opportunity to discuss important health issues including disease screening and lifestyle changes thereby maximizing wellness.
Updating your personal physician here at Sandy Springs Internal Medicine about your wellbeing and establishing your degree of wellness is vital to understanding and minimizing your healthcare risks. The best way to receive comprehensive, personalized care is for your physician to guide you at all levels of health. We aim to devote ample time to thoroughly assess your medical history and to provide actionable recommendations for lifestyle modifications. To help accommodate our patients, we utilize both telemedicine technology and hands-on, in-person medical care.
What is included in the annual examination?
At Sandy Springs Internal Medicine, our annual history and physical examination consists of a thorough evaluation of the patient’s medical history and a head-to-toe, comprehensive physical examination by your physician. We’ve outlined what services and questions you should expect to receive during your examination.
In order to learn more about your health and to accurately evaluate your wellbeing, we will ask you relevant questions about your medical history. The topics of these questions include:
- Surgical and non-surgical medical conditions
- Family history, including heritable and non-heritable conditions
- Social history, including assessment of tobacco, alcohol and exercise
Your physician will also conduct a comprehensive review of medical systems to thoroughly gauge current health. Additionally, all medications will be reviewed for dosage, effectiveness and potential side effects. Previous allergies, intolerances and vaccine history are verified, reviewed and documented.
Any needed screening studies such as colonoscopy, mammography, bone density or cardiac studies will be reviewed and scheduled. It’s important to note that during the COVID-19 pandemic, some services may be provided remotely.
Comprehensive Physical Examination
The in-person visit to the office includes:
- A head-to-toe, comprehensive physical examination by your physician
- Extensive laboratory testing including:
- Complete Blood count (CBC)
- Comprehensive metabolic profile (CMP)
- Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
- A lipid/cholesterol profile
- Apolipoprotein b
- Vitamin D
- Hemoglobin A1c
- Prostate specific antigen (men)
Additional screening studies include:
- Digital Chest x-ray
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Pulmonary function testing (PFT)
- Needed vaccines will be reviewed and administered as recommended by CDC guidelines
Both the pulmonary function testing and the audiogram are deferred during the COVID-19 pandemic to minimize risks of infection transmission.
Is the annual physical covered by insurance?
Because Sandy Springs Internal Medicine is a concierge medical practice, the annual physical examination is included in your annual membership fee. The design of our practice allows you to achieve the highest value (value = quality/cost) possible. We are constantly looking for ways to improve our value by elevating quality and service and controlling cost.
People of all ages benefit from annual examinations.
No matter your age, wellness visits are vital to maintaining health. Whether it is updating vaccines, screening for cancer or heart disease or counseling for mental health or substance abuse, these annual visits promote longevity and improve health.
Additionally, annual physical examinations allow your physician to accurately update your electronic medical record which you can access and track via the patient portal. A yearly physical will bring your care up to date.
Both new and returning patients can contact Sandy Springs Internal Medicine to schedule their annual visit today. Our physicians, Dr. Thomas S. Tucker, Dr. William J. Gower, III, Dr. Peter W. Gutschenritter, Dr. Kelly J. Ahn, Dr. W. Thomas Reed and Dr. Fredd E. Miller, look forward to serving you.