Apparently, checkups are called for when one is already sick. But, nowadays, health care providers are changing the norm as they try to prevent or mitigate illnesses and promote a healthy lifestyle among their clients through executive checkups.

An executive checkup, more known abroad as executive physicals, is defined by Mosby’s Medical Dictionary as “a physical examination that includes extensive laboratory, radiographic, and other tests that may be provided periodically to management level personnel at employer expense.”

As it takes the regular physical examination to a larger extent, executive checkups “typically begin with an in-depth health evaluation that includes advanced lab testing, specialized imaging and specialty consultations,” as American health care provider PartnerMD put it.

“Information gathered from this thorough examination is compiled into a comprehensive package that creates an accurate map of the patient’s health status, can achieve early identification of health risks, and helps the patient plot a course to optimal health and performance,” the PartnerMD added.

In addition, according to the Web site of Aventus Medical Care, executive checkups include “full-body scans, blood testing for multiple rare conditions, and extensive time spent with a doctor going over medical history, and discussing any issues that the patient might otherwise not mention in a standard physical.”

Follow-ups may supplement the already-comprehensive checkup which, as Florida-based health care provider MDVIP wrote, “may also include optional lifestyle counseling and add-ons like fitness and nutrition coaching, a personal trainer, holistic services and massage.”

Since it efficiently puts essential health examinations in a single- or two-day package, an executive checkups aims to meet several goals, which MDVIP specifically enumerates on its Web site: to determine risk factors and preempt potential health problems before they occur; provide expert personal health care for conditions, illnesses and injuries; and promote general health, including nutrition, fitness and stress management.

Executive checkups are becoming a very important tool in monitoring and taking care of the health of executives and employees, since they are usually caught in the busyness of day-to-day work and so happen to leave their health hardly attended to or even compromised.

“With an eye toward prevention, these one- or two-day examinations attempt to accommodate busy schedules while supporting the long-term wellness and productivity of a firm’s key players,” medicine professor Anthony L. Komaroff, MD, explained in an analysis of executive physicals published in Harvard Business Review.

As this particular kind of health care is being offered by more and more providers, executive checkups matter since they show that the health of each employee should be valued and that a healthy work force is vital for a well-functioning organization.

Executive checkups are a better means to determine conditions or risks that might hint at more serious complications. They are being used as a tool to prevent illnesses, proving indeed that prevention is better than cure.

“An executive physical can help identify medical problems before they become serious,” Pittsburgh-based health care provider and insurer UPMC explains. “Many conditions — such as diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers — have a high rate of successful treatment when detected early.”

A post by the Lung Center of the Philippines agrees, stating that an executive checkup “is often considered as the cornerstone of disease prevention, and works hand in hand with other ways of avoiding disease like changes in lifestyle, controlling risk factors and vaccination programs.”

As a result, as Aventus’ Web site wrote, “Early diagnosis of a condition can mean that people are more likely to get early treatment, which can result in cures or management of conditions that may be too late to treat or reverse by the time they manifest symptoms.”

A study by the University of Michigan’s Management Research Center on executive health examination recognized that “[t]he success of a corporation is significantly dependent on the health and productivity of the executive work force.” And since executive checkups become a vital way of preventing and mitigating health woes, they are very helpful in keeping members of the work force healthy.

With the corporate sector possibly being subject to various lifestyle diseases, an executive checkup promotes the wellness of employees. This, in turn, contributes to their enthusiasm and productivity at work, and lessens their chances of taking time off work because of some health problem.

Executive checkups, as an extensive and well-rounded service that aims at prevention and promotes wellness, are very helpful in maintaining the good health of employees, and eventually in keeping organizations up and running. — Adrian Paul B. Conoza