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This month we’re celebrating dads and grads and reminding our community about the importance of the annual routine physical examination. Its role is to help men and women of all ages stay in tip-top health.

Lots of people will see their physician or provider for acute or episodic medical issues but skip their annual exam. St. Vincent’s Joette Eyser – NP-C, has made it her goal to reinforce its importance.

Your provider will check vitals including weight, heart rate, and blood pressure, and recommend other lab work or screenings based on test results, age, and personal health history. The annual physical allows you to catch up on vaccinations—and perhaps most importantly, may discover the start of more serious conditions.

“I listen to patient’s life history, coordinate their specialists and their chart,” she says. She’s emphatic about the importance of regular age-appropriate screenings and bloodwork. “We detect issues early, then treat or manage them before they worsen,” she says. She cites the discovery of things like hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and even vitamin D deficiency, often a precursor to osteoporosis.

To get the most from your exam, make a list of any changes that have occurred over the past 12 months, including medications, injuries, hospitalizations or surgeries, and even vitamins and supplements you take. Also, bring up-to-date documentation from other providers you may see.

Joette shares what she believes is a universal sentiment of primary care providers and physicians everywhere. “My job is to help you have the happiest, healthiest, most satisfying life you can have,” she says. “Primary care’s role is to ensure you’re as healthy as you can be.”

The team at St. Vincent urges everyone to see their primary care provider this year, with the reminder that annual wellness visits are covered by most insurance.