Many have heard that yearly physicals are a good way to catch any warning signs of cardiac failure, diabetes, cancer, high blood sugar, or any other scary health concern. However, doctors have been debating for several years now if the yearly physical is still as effective as it once was.
Does the physical actually catch warning signs for serious health conditions? Or is it a nuisance to patients who are active and healthy? Every doctor will tell you a different story, but there are things annual physicals do provide: a better relationship with your doctor, an updated medical history, a consistent medical record, and opportunities to talk about improving your health.
To get in the routine of receiving an annual physical, it’s a good idea to start young. Luckily, with sports and other school extracurriculars, students are required to have a physical on record. Because of the demand for physicals, school vaccines, and health concerns for children, Muncie Star Press reported that a local Muncie business— Open Door Health Services— provided a free or reduced cost mobile health clinic for students at the start of school. Opportunities like free physicals are great ways to begin establishing doctor-patient relationships early as well as beginning children’s own medical records. Such consistency may come in handy if ever you or your loved one has to file a malpractice claim or file for disability benefits.
Doctors and patients often know each other for years, if not generations. It can be difficult in times of hurt or grief over a loss to even think about a malpractice suit against someone who is a long-time family friend. However, doctors are held to the highest standard of professionalism and expertise because they are taking care of a patient’s life.
One of the benefits of an annual physical is that you meet with the same doctor at least once a year to establish a doctor-patient relationship. In any malpractice case, you must prove the doctor’s action or inaction is the direct cause of your injury or illness. It may be easier to show that a single doctor is directly responsible if you’ve been going to the same doctor for years. It also indicates that the doctor knew your medical history and should have been able to anticipate any egregious complications.
Annual physicals are great times to update your medical records. Not only can this help in a malpractice suit, but it can also help if a person needs to apply for Social Security disability benefits. This way, Social Security will have recent evidence of your condition(s) and can determine whether or not you medically qualify as disabled, according to the Social Security Administration’s strict definition.
Up-to-date medical records are also important if you are referred to a specialist or need to plan a course of treatment. Having a known medical history can prevent medical malpractice because the doctors and healthcare professionals caring for you have more information about your specific body and condition(s).
Malpractice During a Physical
Although physicals can seem fairly routine, medical malpractice can still occur. Physicals are a good time to check for warning signs of more serious diseases. If a doctor misses obvious signs of injury or illness during a physical or misdiagnoses you, you could have a medical malpractice case on your hands.
Contact a Muncie Medical Malpractice Attorney
There are extreme and unforeseen circumstances where you may find yourself considering pursuing a medical malpractice case. Call us or contact us online for a free consultation to see if you have a medical malpractice case and what your next steps are.