Why annual physicals and well woman exams are important

Why annual physicals and well woman exams are important

Special to Airpark News from TriVita Clinic of Integrative Medicine


Many adults tend to only see their doctor when they are already sick. You call for an appointment when you feel cold and flu symptoms coming on, but if you only see a physician when you are already sick, you may be missing the opportunity to treat problems before they become more serious. Regular screening can help spot symptoms of serious conditions like Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiac issues, and even cancer. Early detection for serious medical issues like these can make a huge difference in the treatment options available to you, and most major health plans cover 100 percent of the cost of an annual physical.

With all the responsibilities in life, many wonder why they should go for an annual physical. It’s an unfortunate truth, and one that can have a negative consequence on your health, vitality and quality of life.

The importance of receiving an annual physical exam is not stressed as much as it should be, and cannot be stressed enough. The tests and examinations change as you grow older and are based on your family history. Making sure to take time every year to focus on yourself and your health can help identify any potential issues early. 

At TriVita Clinic of Integrative Medicine, our physicians are proud to offer compassionate, personalized care including regular physical exams to monitor your health. “Our physical serves two key functions: first, to look at the basics, which may include blood tests and other routine preventive screening measures.  However, multiple studies show that only satisfying those requirements does not equate to a good quality of life, e.g. a normal colonoscopy does not mean you necessarily feel energetic,” explains Dr. Akit Chander, TriVita Clinic’s medical director. “We expand our physical to consider some of these intangibles, to think about the trajectory of your life, and also employ advanced diagnostics and therapeutics to best serve your health.“

At TriVita Clinic of Integrative Medicine, we know that each patient is different, and that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to healthcare. When you come to us for a physical exam, we want you to feel comfortable, and we want you to feel heard. If you have issues or concerns, we promise to listen to and address them. At our primary care clinic, your worries will never be dismissed out of hand. We value the trust you place in us when you come to us for medical treatment, and we are dedicated to making sure we treat each of our patients with the utmost kindness and respect.


What to expect in a well woman exam

In addition to regular physical exams and check-ups to treat specific illnesses and injuries, women need specialized screenings and care. At TriVita Clinic of Integrative Medicine, we believe every woman should have convenient access to the quality medical care she needs.

At TriVita, Dr. Chander and his expert team of medical professionals suggest making sure you take the time each year to receive a well woman exam, as it is an important step in taking control of your health. Your annual well woman exam will consist of a breast exam and a pelvic exam, and may also include a pap smear.  Well woman exams can help to identify problems before they become more serious. Early detection for issues like cervical dysplasia and breast cancer can have an incredible impact on the effectiveness of available treatment. That is why it is so important to find a doctor with whom you can build a trusting and comfortable relationship.

The breast exam portion of your well woman exam will involve a few different steps. The first part of the exam consists of a visual examination. Your doctor will check your breasts for any visual abnormalities such as shrinkage or bulging. They will examine the color and symmetry of your breasts according to your age, body mass, and other identifiers. They will also closely examine the nipple and areola for any flattening or other abnormalities.

The next step of your breast exam includes palpation of each breast and physical examination of the breast and underarm area for any lumps. Your doctor may also take this time to show you how to perform a breast exam on yourself at home. Checking your breasts regularly can help to ensure that your doctor can be made aware of any irregularities as soon as possible, even if they appear between visits. Depending on your age or other risk factors, and whether your doctor finds any problems, you may also be referred to a specialist to have a mammogram performed.

In addition to the breast exam, your well woman exam will include a complete pelvic exam. This exam will include inspection of the exterior genitalia, a bimanual examination, and a speculum examination. The bimanual and speculum examination will inspect the interior of your vagina, as well as your cervix and uterus. The speculum examination may include a pap test, depending on your age.  This involves taking a sample of cells from your cervix and uterine fornix to check for any potential abnormalities. This screening can help identify human papilloma virus (HPV) and cervical cancer, and is an important step in ensuring you receive the best treatment as soon as possible, if you need it.

In addition to well woman exams, TriVita Clinic nurse practitioner Loretta Nevarez-Kells conducts monthly “Well Woman Power Hour” talks through the clinic’s Women of Wellness (WOW) Circle. Topics include bone health and nourishing female essence and vitality. “I really do care,” Nevarez-Kells says. “It’s not just putting in my eight hours and going home. Sometimes I go home and I still think about things, and hope they’re doing OK.”

Well woman exams are incredibly personal, and it is important that you have a doctor you feel completely comfortable with. At our primary care clinic, we strive to create an environment where you can feel calm and cared for. We want you to be a partner in your own healthcare, and to feel comfortable voicing any issues or concerns you may have. If you would like to schedule a well woman exam, please call us today.

TriVita Clinic of Integrative Medicine is located at 16100 N. Greenway-Hayden Loop, Scottsdale. Call 480-725-4474 or visit trivitaclinic.com for more information.