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What Is Included In An Annual Physical Exam?

doctor listening to patients chest with stethoscope

Annual wellness visits are an important part of your overall health.

Let’s take a closer look at what is included in your annual physical exam.


We all want to find ways to live longer, prevent illness, and experience overall healthier lives. And one of the best ways to accomplish these goals is by getting an annual physical exam.

Yet many of us go for these yearly check-ups without knowing exactly why (or what they involve).

Your annual physical is more than just a routine visit; it’s a key part of preventative care. Let’s take a closer look at your annual physical exam to let you know what to expect at each age.


Do I Need an Annual Exam?

If you’re in great health, you might question the need for an annual physical. After all, why do you need a doctor to tell you what you already know?

However, annual exams are more than just a checkpoint to manage serious diseases. They are actually an important tool to alert your doctor to troubling symptoms that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Basically, if your doctor knows what “healthy” looks like for you, it will be easier for them to recognize signs of illness.


doctor and patient talking at desk

Preparing For Your Annual Physical

In our experience, patients who spend time preparing for their annual physical tend to get the most out of their healthcare. In fact, one of the many benefits of Direct Primary Care (DPC) is the freedom to take control of your health!

Start by making a list of medications (and dosages) you’re currently taking, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and supplements.

Next, brush up on family medical history, as this will give your doctor valuable insight into your risk factors for certain conditions.

Finally, come prepared with any questions, concerns, or new symptoms you have. At Family Tree, appointments routinely last upwards of 30 minutes, so there is plenty of time to discuss your health.

The key is to give your doctor a clear picture of your past and present health so they can take precautions to keep you healthy in the future.


What Does an Annual Physical Exam Cost?

At Family Tree, all office visits (including annual physicals) are included in your membership. Removing any barriers to preventative care is what enables us to keep our patients as healthy as possible.

Because lab work and imaging are not performed in-house, there may be additional costs for these services. However, Family Tree patients have access to pre-negotiated cash rates with reputable local providers. In many cases, these rates are less than a typical copay!


doctor listening to baby's heart with stethoscope

What Is Included In Your Annual Physical Exam?

Because the goal is to create a comprehensive snapshot of your health, your annual well visit is a full, hands-on exam.

Your doctor will:

  • Gather your health history
  • Answer questions
  • Take vital signs (pulse, temperature, respiration rate)
  • Make note of your height and weight
  • Check your ears, nose, and throat
  • Feel lymph nodes for swelling
  • Test muscle reflexes
  • Order additional testing (such as blood tests and imaging)

Keep in mind that this is a very basic list. Those living with a chronic illness or certain risk factors may require additional testing and attention. Your annual exam will also include different screenings depending on your age.


Annual Physical Exam Checklist By Age

It’s no secret that our health tends to deteriorate as we age. People with no health concerns at age 20 may be dealing with heart disease and high blood pressure by age 50.

If you have certain risk factors due to age or family history, making preventative screenings a part of your annual exam can be key to keeping serious illnesses at bay.


doctor putting bandaid on little girl's arm after vaccine

Newborn To Age 18

Annual physical exams for children typically involve:

  • Vital signs and measurements
  • Developmental milestones
  • Behavior issues
  • Vaccines
  • School & sports physicals

If your child is living with chronic illness—such as diabetes or arthritis—your doctor will discuss their additional needs.

Age 18 To 39

Once patients reach adulthood, annual physical exams should also include:

  • Blood pressure screening
  • Blood sugar screening
  • STD testing
  • Yearly vaccines (i.e. flu and COVID-19)
  • Pelvic exam, pap smear, and breast exam (for women)
  • Testicular exams (for men)

Age 40 To 64

After age 40, your doctor may include:

  • Cholesterol screening (although this may be done earlier if you have certain risk factors)
  • Colorectal cancer screening
  • Lung cancer screening
  • Mammogram (for women)
  • Prostate exam (for men)


doctor talking to senior patient

Age 65 And Up

After age 65, annual physical exams will also include:

  • Bone density screening for osteoporosis
  • Hearing test
  • Monitoring of specific health problems


Take Control Of Your Health

Your annual physical exam is an important tool in preventing and managing illness—one you shouldn’t ignore!

At Family Tree Primary Care, our goal is to make healthcare as easy and enjoyable as possible. During your wellness exam, your doctor will spend plenty of time discussing each of your concerns in detail so that we can make testing as thorough as possible.

Once you have received your results, we will discuss them with you over the phone or in our office—whichever is most convenient for you. We can then make recommendations specific to your health.

Enroll today to get started or text your doctor to schedule an appointment.


Get To Know The Author

About Family Tree

Family Tree Primary Care began as a desire to create a better healthcare experience for both patients and physicians alike. We were determined to find a way to repair the parts of the healthcare system that were broken, and thanks to the Direct Primary Care model, our office has been able to do just that!

Our mission is to make medicine affordable, personal and accessible, without sacrificing the quality of care. Whatever your concerns, we want to be the first point of contact for your healthcare needs. In fact, we can diagnose and treat many conditions in-house (including many prescriptions).

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