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Physical Exams

Physical Exams

School just got out but don’t wait until the last minute to schedule your child’s physical exam for participation in school athletics.

“Many schools require at least a sports physical,” Mahaska Health Partnership Pediatrician John O’Brien, MD explained. “At MHP, we recommend a complete physical each year but also offer sports physicals.

“We never want to deprive any child the opportunity to participate in athletics,” Dr. O’Brien said. “We offer reduced-rate sports physicals as a community benefit and donate the money collected to the athlete’s school.”

According to the Academy of Pediatrics, a complete physical exam gives doctors an opportunity to provide a thorough examination and address important questions. “For some kids, especially teenagers, the annual physical is the only time of year they see their doctor,” Dr. O’Brien said.

Dr. O’Brien explained that while sports physicals are a good screening for potential athletic health problems, they should not replace a full annual physical. “A healthy childhood and adolescence includes a good balance between a child’s home life, school, social activities, sports and extracurricular pursuits. All of those topics cannot be covered in a physical limited to sports.

“However, because participation in organized activities is a wonderful self-esteem booster, we don’t want to hinder a child’s participation due to factors beyond his or her  control,” Dr. O’Brien said.

As an alternative, MHP Specialty Services and New Sharon Medical Center will again be offering reduced-rate school sports physicals from June 20 to August 20. The cost of the physical is $20 and will satisfy the pre-screening exam required by most schools for participation in sports.

Appointments for complete or sports physicals can be made with MHP Specialty Services by calling 641-672-3360 or with New Sharon Medical Center by calling 641-637-2651.

Mahaska Health Partnership, located in Oskaloosa, is a non-profit health system accredited by the Joint Commission. It is guided by its mission to provide exceptional customer service and health improvement, linking the science of medicine with the humanity of compassionate care. For more information about how Mahaska Health Partnership is making healthcare personal, call 641-672-3240 or visit www.mahaskahealth.org.