How many of you out there keep up on your annual exam ? Well of course we know most of the men don't. Apparently the " outies " don't need to... or at least that's what they think. However, we " innies" must have more moving parts and we just need to be checked more often.
On a more substantial note, there is an excellent new article on annual exams that showed up on Huff Post. This article echoes some of my sentiments voiced on my website here. I'd love for you to check out both pages.
Personally , most of the annual exams I do are inspiring. I see people take stock of their health year, and, together, we make plans for a better health future. We certainly do find concerning things on annual exams, but in most cases, it is a fair amount of health screening and a great deal of prevention and tailored health coaching.
With electronic medical records being what they are now, we can track patient's long term progress and trends. When patients are able to see their data in black and white, tracked over a meaningful period of time, it is, it seems, magically motivating. Goals can be approached incrementally and even small successes are graphic and become tangible encouragement.
I am for taking a data driven approach to your health. This would mean keeping up on your annual exams. But it would also mean starting to keep track of your own data. Get a copy of your visit notes at the end of your visit. Know your own current lab values like cholesterol. Have a feel for your blood pressure levels.
Perhaps you use various health apps ? I would love to hear from you about what you like or what has not worked. I myself am holding out for Apple's forthcoming app called Health. It may even come with a cool new wearable health tracking device, the so called, much rumored " iwatch". Stay tuned.