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When to get a Physical Check Up

Female taking senior woman’s blood pressure at a physical check up

The average person tends to put off a visit to the doctor’s office for as long as they can--sometimes resulting in severe consequences. We understand that a physical check up can be intimidating, and sometimes even carry bad news. But it’s better to face a check up than discover more serious, detrimental consequences down the road. 

Some people, however, are conscientious about making a trip to the doctor’s office and schedule appointments frequently. While there’s no exact formula for how often a patient should be receiving a physical check up, we have some guidelines. 

How Often Should You Get a Physical Check Up

When understanding how frequent your appointments should be, you must take your age and risk for contracting disease into account. To break it down, here are the three age groups with guidelines:

  • Age 30 or Younger and Healthy: You should be going every two to three years for a physical check up (that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to go more often than this). It’s completely fair to receive a check up even if you’re perfectly healthy--it’s smart to be in check and take any preventative measures just in case. If you fall into this category, it’s also good to discuss disease prevention and maintaining a healthy lifestyle with your doctor, just to be mindful as you get older. 

    Younger patients might also benefit from receiving particular vaccines, especially if they plan to travel internationally. Additionally, young women should discuss the benefits of receiving a regular cervical cancer screening with their doctor. If nothing else, at least schedule a check up every two to three years as stated.

  • Age 30-40: At this age, it’s wise to receive an annual physical in addition to any routine visits. A complete physical exam may show common diseases that otherwise, the patient isn’t having symptoms of. Some common and more rare diseases aren’t accompanied by obvious symptoms. It’s better to have a doctor detect such early signs through a physical examination than wait until they reach a dangerous stage. 

    Additionally, women at this age should begin discussing regular breast cancer screenings with their doctor. These conversations can be uncomfortable and sometimes even lead to frustration as no one wants to hear they’re more at risk for certain diseases. But it’s important to take precautionary steps.

  • Age 50 and older: Here’s where an annual physical examination and frequent physical check ups are even more important. In addition to regular check ups and a complete physical exam, both men and women of this age should have colonoscopies done to check for colon cancer. Anyone over the age of 65 should also discuss the pros of receiving pneumococcal vaccines and regular influenza vaccines because they are at a higher risk for illness and even hospitalization from pneumonia and the flu. Additionally, the shingles vaccine is something that should also be considered. Women should also go over the benefits of regular mammograms with their doctor. So, we want you to take preventative measures as soon as possible. 

Make This a Comfortable Experience

If these guidelines and additional screening suggestions seem daunting, we advise you to at least get on top of frequent check ups with your doctor anytime you feel less than your best. 

For starters, your doctor can detect signs of illness through checking the basics: your temperature, height, weight, blood pressure, and pulse rate. Your doctor will compare how a standard examination measures against the same examination done at prior marks in your life. Additionally, your doctor will want to test your heart and lungs, and possibly look at your skin for signs of skin cancer. 

If there is anything out of place, your doctor will sit down and discuss with you what roadblocks could lie ahead and what step to take next. Ultimately, a physical check up is not meant to cause discomfort; it’s meant to give you comfort in making sure you’re getting the help you need, and the reassurance that you’re leading a healthy life. 

Elevated Health

If you are looking for top quality healthcare in Huntington Beach, California that offers affordable and flexible physical check-ups whenever you need them, Elevated Health is the place for you. There's no need to schedule an appointment months in advance because we offer same day appointments and 24/7 communication so that you can take care of your health on your own time. A large part of our mission is ensuring that you can visit your personal family doctor as often as necessary, and for as long as you need without having to pay any additional fees. Furthermore, we know how uncomfortable doctor visits can be. That’s why we treat patients as part of our family. 

We value check ups just as much as any specific medical visit because you deserve our full attention, always. Join a medical community that values your overall health and wellness first. Join us at Elevated Health.

Try Out Our DPC Healthcare Model at Your Next Physical Check Up

Matthew Abinante is a board-certified family physician

About the Author

Matthew Abinante is a board-certified family physician providing direct primary care to patients of all ages. Offering excellent care, diagnosis, and techniques, he continually participates in educational opportunities to best serve his patients. Working in Huntington Beach, he analyzes common aches and pains, proposes innovative treatment plans, and provides specialized services for each individual patient. 

After excelling for years, Matthew received his DO and MPH from Touro University in Vallejo, CA. Matthew completed his residency training at PIH Health Hospital in Downey, CA, where he became a board-certified and trusted family physician who values patient-doctor relationships and clear communication.