2021 Physical Season
It’s almost Summer Break which means enrollment for the new school year will soon be underway! With the announcement of the COVID-19 vaccines being approved for children as young as 12 years old and schools making preparations to reopen in the fall business is picking up, and Curry Pediatrics is preparing for a busy Physical Season!
Schools are still requiring students receive an annual physical exam and stay current on their vaccines, even for students who learn virtually, and new vaccine requirements will go into effect for school entry on 7/1/2021.
The changes to the childhood immunization schedule include:
Two vaccinations against both chickenpox and hepatitis A, instead of the previous one, will be required prior to kindergarten.
Teens will be required to receive two doses of meningococcal vaccine; one before they start 7th grade, and a second dose before they start 12th grade; instead of the previous standard of one vaccine prior to 7th grade.
The HPV vaccine is required before the start of the 7th grade, but parents may opt out of this vaccine after they have reviewed educational materials and signed a vaccine waiver.
Because the Department of Health has opted out of participation in this vaccine program due to the high demand for COVID vaccine administration, and because Urgent Cares don’t carry VVFC vaccines most patients will have to go to their Primary Care Provider to receive the required immunizations for them to be eligible for school enrollment in the fall.
To get ahead of the patient rush and guarantee your child is ready for enrollment by the new school year call our office to make an appointment today!
Top 10 most frequently asked questions regarding Physical Season
1. What is a Physical Exam (Wellness Exam) for?
The Wellness Exam focuses on evaluating the current health status of the patient when they are symptom free. Wellness Exams provide the opportunity for our providers to obtain early diagnoses of underlying issues to help avoid more serious health problems in the future.
During a preventive care (physical) visit, the doctor will look at any health risks and talk with you about the patients current health, your family health history, past illnesses and surgeries, risks your child may have for specific conditions (based off of medical history of the family) and provide counseling on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
2. Can I get medication refills for my child at the Physical Appointment?
No. Because well-child care is so comprehensive, we ask that families use the time allotted for the physical appointment to focus on preventive care, and not as a time for care of minor illnesses or chronic problems. Conditions such as asthma, skin care, food allergies, ADHD/behavior problems, injury follow-up, etc. will be reviewed at a separate appointment and refills can be done at that time.
3. Can Physicals be done using Telehealth?
Unfortunately, no. All Wellness Examinations require an in person physical screening of the patient. For a general idea of what the physical examination for you or your child will look like, follow this link to view the America Academy of Pediatrics Recommendations for Preventive Pediatric Health Care. https://downloads.aap.org/AAP/PDF/periodicity_schedule.pdf
4. How do I get the Physical (PE) Form for my child to enroll them in school/daycare/sports/college?
If you know ahead of time that you will need paperwork completed for school entrance or sports participation, please bring your own copy of the required paperwork with you. You can print the 2021 school entrance form here. If you do not bring in your own paperwork a copy of the School Entrance Form and Sports Participation forms for the state of Virginia can be provided upon request.
We do not have access to College Physical Examination Forms so patients who are enrolling in a College or University should arrive with their own paperwork.
If you will need paperwork completed during your physical exam, please notify the provider at the beginning of your appointment. This way our providers can complete your paperwork as they perform your child's examination and the forms can be returned to you at the end of your visit.
If your child has already had their Physical Exam and you would like a Physical Form filled out for them you may call in or email a request to our office at 757-547-5851 or . In order for us to fulfill PE Form requests the first page of the PE Form must be completed and signed by a legal guardian of the patient.
There is a $5.00 fee per form for PE Forms requested AFTER the Physical Exam has been completed. It may take up to 7 business days to complete forms that are requested after the Physical Exam has been completed.
5. Why is there a Fee for the Physical Form to be completed for me after the appointment?
Filling out Physical Forms for school entrance and sports can be particularly time consuming, especially during physical season when we are seeing hundreds of patients a week for their Physical Exam. Sometimes our staff has to work extra hours to ensure everything gets done during this busier time so the $5 fee goes towards their time. It is much faster and easier to complete the Physical Forms during the patients physical exam, and it's FREE!
6. Enrollment is due ASAP! Can I get my Physical Form sooner than in 7 business days?
Our providers work hard to complete all Forms Requests in a timely manner, but our priority is to treat our patients who are in our office, so if the form is requested after the Physical Exam has been completed, it will be filled out during admin time in between seeing our scheduled patients. Due to this structuring and high patient volume during Physical Season (July-September), it can take longer for forms to be completed during this time. If you will need your forms back sooner than 7 business days please let us know at the time of your request and we will try our best to expedite the process.
7. Can I get my Physical Exam done early?
Most insurances only cover one Wellness Exam per patient, per year. If your child is caught up on Wellness Exams we can fill out a School Entrance (PE) Form using their most current record. If your PE Form or Exam is close to expiring we can book your child for their next Wellness Exam and complete a New PE Form at the time of their exam (Must request at Check In).
8. What if I'm scheduled for a Physical Exam and myself or my child become ill?
If you know you are scheduled for a face to face appointment and you or your child fall ill or develop symptoms of COVID-19 please call our office immediately so that we can determine the appropriate mode of treatment.
9. I have 3+ children, can we come in all at once for their Physical Exams?
M. T. Curry Pediatrics only allows up to two children of the same family to be seen at a time. In some cases we will allow 3 or more siblings to be seen together but this is at the discretion of the healthcare provider. If you require accommodations to bring in all of your children at once, please call 757-547-5851 to speak to management.
10. Can both parents come to the Wellness Exam?
Only the patient(s) being treated and one guardian may come to scheduled appointments. Parents of children ages 2 months or younger may both attend appointments. Families with multiple children ages 4 and under may attend appointments with 2 guardians. Patients ages 18-21 will be seen alone.