Full physicals now advised for teen athletes
As summer approaches, the Wahkiakum Family Practice Clinic is sending out a reminder that pre-participation sports physical exams will soon be due.
In the past, this meant that students would take the sports physical exam consisting of a brief screening exam which was targeted at preventing injury, illness, and sudden cardiac death. However, it has been found that this service has not performed to expected standards, and with growing concern, the medical community has seen this lesser service replace the more vital service of preventive care for young community members.
Starting in June, the clinic will recommend that school age and adolescent patients be scheduled for an age-appropriate preventive care exam. The American Academy of Family Practice recommends this service every two years. It consists of a detailed personal and family history, lifestyle assessment, physical examination, vaccine review, and risk discussion. Most insurance companies will pay for this service, which will eliminate the need to pay cash up front for the non-covered Sports Physical. For those with no insurance coverage for preventive care, the clinic can discuss several options. The clinic will no longer offer the sports physical exam as a routine service.
If a student has had a preventive care exam within the last two years, a brief exam may be necessary to update and complete the paperwork required. The clinic fee is just $25 for this service.