You must have heard, too: President Donald Trump underwent his first annual physical exam at the beginning of the year since taking office. He reportedly was ‘in excellent health’.
We can’t help but ask: when was the last time you visited your doctor's office? We hear you, busy people have busy schedules. It’s hard sometimes to squeeze in a lunch or the gym, let alone a doctor’s visit. But if we are completely honest, aren’t we just finding excuses for ourselves? “The most common excuse people find to avoid a doctor’s appointment is that they don’t have time”, says Dr. Sophie Chung, CEO of medical travel platform Qunomedical. “Many people decide to go to the doctor only when they are sick, but regular health checkups could prevent many serious health issues in the long run, especially after 35.”
Recognizing the importance of having fit C-level executives, some companies require their employees and C-Suite to get an annual physical examination, like American holding company CSX Corporation.
"Regular health checkups could prevent many serious health issues in the long run, especially after 35."
Whether your company requires that of you or not, it might be high time for you to plan your next yearly examination in order to avoid any potential risk related to overwork or frequent traveling, like back pain, problems with blood circulation, stress, and wrong eating habits (eating a sandwich at your desk, anyone?)—just to name a few. An annual physical can potentially rule out any complications derived from your lifestyle or work environment.
While President Trump may have undergone a more in-depth physical examination than the average 71-year old, there are a few tests that are usually included in every exam. Although there are no absolutes in a routine physical, here’s a rundown of what your next physical could look like.
History. An annual exam typically consists of different parts, starting from discussing your medical and family history, in which you will answer a series of questions about your medical past, health habits, lifestyle behaviors, diet, and exercise. You’ll also discuss any symptoms that might be bothering you.
Vital signs. The doctor will also check your vital signs, like your blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate, and temperature, and listen to your heart and lungs using a stethoscope, to detect any crackles, wheezes, or decreased breath sounds. Blood tests may be included to check for your cholesterol and blood sugar.
Abdominal, neurological and dermatological exams. The doctor will tap your abdomen to detect the presence of abdominal fluid and palpating for tenderness. In order to assess your nerves, muscle strength, reflexes, balance, and mental state, a neurological exam may also be included, as well as a dermatological exam to assess the health of your skin.
For a more in-depth preventive examination there are additional exams you can undergo. Cardiac tests like an Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), an echocardiography (2D-Echo), and a Cardiac Stress Test can help assess if the structure and function of the heart muscle are in good condition, or if you’re at risk of heart disease.
A stool test for occult blood and a colonoscopy can help assess colon cancer risk. A colonoscopy is performed in order to evaluate the inside of the colon and is done by inserting a tubular instrument through the rectum and advanced it to the large intestine.
"As the one person who knows you body best, you should be the one taking full charge of your own health."
Additional tests include checking your level of proteins and vitamins, your thyroid, and your body composition to assess body fat distribution. Hepatitis C and B, and HIV screenings can also be performed, as well as tests to detect STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases), such as chlamydia or gonorrhea.
There are different preventive exams that are recommended for men and women specifically.
Men. In order to check any symptoms of testicular cancer, the doctor may carry out a testicular exam to check each testicle for lumps, tenderness, or changes in size. Screenings tests for prostate cancer are also highly recommended, like a digital rectal exam (DRE) or a prostate-specific antigen test (PSA).
Women. Additional examinations for women include a breast exam and ultrasound, where the doctor looks for abnormal lumps to detect breast cancer or benign breast conditions, and a pelvic exam, which allows the examination of the vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus and ovaries. Routine tests can also be carried out, like a Pap test or HPV test, which can screen for cervical cancer and help assess risk.
As the one person who knows you body best, you should be the one taking full charge of your own health. As Dr. Sophie Chung stresses, “You need to be upfront about your health concerns and be completely honest about your symptoms and lifestyle. Don’t fudge any of the truth: if you smoke 20 cigarettes a day, don’t say you smoke 5 just because you’re worried it will make you look bad. Full disclosure about yourself and your family’s health background will help a great deal to identify potential health risks.”
“You need to be upfront about your health concerns and be completely honest about your symptoms and lifestyle."
The first step would be to inform yourself about your options, and ask yourself: what is covered by my health insurance? What tests are recommended for somebody my age? And above all, what ways are there to assess my overall health? While an annual physical examination is usually covered by insurance providers, more in-depth tests won’t be prescribed just because you ask (like an MRI or ECG). That’s why it’s good to explore other possibilities if you want to learn more about your body and health.
Whether you’re looking for a basic or an all-round health checkup, we partner with internationally renowned clinics and hospitals that offer special packages for your individual needs. We’ve rounded up a few of our most popular choices across several countries below.
KCM Clinic in Jelena Gora, Poland
Packages available for cardiac or cancer prevention and all-inclusive packages. From €190 to €690.
GOP Hospital in Istanbul, Turkey
Prevention packages for heart disease and cancer, or all-inclusive packages. Prices vary from $400 to $1250 (€320-1000).
Liv Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey
All-inclusive packages including thyroid exams, colonoscopy, lab tests and cardiac exams vary from $1300 to $2100 (€1000 to 1700).
Klinikum Nürnberg in Nürnberg, Germany
Their standard package starts at €1200 and includes a comprehensive clinical evaluation, lab tests, and diagnostic screenings for the heart, lungs, and thyroid.
Co-Ordination in Vienna, Austria
All-inclusive package starts at €800 and includes a thorough cardio check-up with ultrasound of heart and carotid arteries, an ECG and ergometry, as well as a colonoscopy (sedation included).
Wiener Privatklinik in Vienna, Austria
A basic checkup costs €840, while deluxe packages including a cardio check-up with ultrasound of heart, abdomen, kidney and carotid arteries, a colonoscopy and a nutrition consultation starts at €4700.
Bangpakok 9 International Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand
The basic package ranges from 2650 baht (€70) while the premium one with special examinations for 40+ patients varies from 13000 to 15500 baht (€330-400).
Sikarin Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand
All-inclusive packages available for men (12900 baht or €300) and women (16900 baht or €430).
Yanhee Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand
Available packages vary by age depending on the tests required. Prices range from 2300 bath (€60) for people younger than 30 to 13200 baht (€340) for seniors.
Fortis Hospital in Mumbai, India
Different packages available for specific checkups (liver, kidneys, obesity, stomach), varying from the basic ($280 or €225) to the premium offer ($830 or €670) .
Continental Hospital in Hyderabad, India
Health checkup packages vary from Rs. 11000 up to 90000 (or €140 to €1100), depending on age and number of exams needed.
Seven Hills Hospital in Mumbai, India
Packages vary from Rs. 23000 (€290) to Rs. 1800 (€20) with meals included.
Galenia Hospital in Cancun, Mexico
Different health checkup packages available, from the basic one ($580 or €470) to the advanced one ($1400 or €1130).
Great service, affordable prices, no wait. Ready for your annual physical at last? Just so you don’t find any other excuse to get your checkup done, we’ve visualized the most commonly used ones and debunked them one by one.