MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — President Donald Trump will undergo a physical on Friday — his first annual exam since taking office.
Like presidents before him, his staff says they will release the results of the exam.
In the past, presidents have had a full work-up of medical tests during their physicals, ranging from chest X-rays, to CT scans, to stress tests for the heart.
So, should everyone get those tests? What should people who aren’t the leader of the free world get in their annual physical?
“We get a lot in the regular preventative exam,” said Dr. Katie Klingberg, a family medicine physician with Fairview Clinics Highland Park. “It actually rules out a lot more things than each individual might recognize.”
Dr. Klingberg said “executive physicals” that come with added tests aren’t necessarily for most people at their annual physical. Often, those types of physicals are not covered by insurance and can cost between $2,000 and $3,000.
“Those are extras. If you had a cardiac history or a family history of cardia disease, then that’s something that we negotiate between the physician and their patient and determine if you need that next step of testing,” she said.
Dr. Klingberg recommends healthy people get a physical once a year. That allows them to build a relationship with their doctor and get the necessary testing and screenings that come with a regular exam.
A regular annual physical should include a medical and family history, talk with the doctor, check of vital signs, blood work and, when necessary, proper screenings for cancer. Those screenings would include a mammograms, pap smears, colonoscopies and prostate screenings.
The average physician exam lasts between 13 to 16 minutes.
To make the most of that limited time, Dr. Klingberg recommends not coming in with a long list of ailments that a patient has been waiting to address.
“It’s not to talk about the knee pain or the ankle pain or the sore throat at that visit,” she said. “It’s to be sure your cancer screening is up to date and to stratify based on risk whatever test you might need to keep you healthy.”
She also said it is important to be honest with your doctor, especially about topics like drinking and smoking.