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Take Care of Your Leadership With Executive Physicals

Investing in the health of your top leaders pays off. Comprehensive physical exams help protect your business against catastrophic health problems.


Doctor shaking hands with an ExecutiveThink about one day without your CEO and other top executives. Could you manage?

What about one week? One month?

It's not a thought most business leaders care to entertain. Long stretches without the C-suite would be damaging. Suddenly, one day doesn't sound so bad. And the seven hours it takes to complete an executive physical sounds like a solid investment.

Executive physicals provide certainty.

For the company, and for the executive.

"Executives are here for six to seven hours getting a complete check-up from head to toe," says Jodi Schweiger, Employer Health Services director at The Iowa Clinic. "It provides the executives with peace of mind. And from an employer standpoint, they're getting peace of mind that their leader is being looked over."

That certainty helps companies avoid the disruption of unexpected health issues and ensure their leaders are in good health. For executives, the set-up provides a convenient time and location to get a spat of tests and follow-ups that might normally take months. They also get results the same day, so they leave with a much better understanding of their wellness and a health plan moving forward.

"Time is huge when it comes to busy leaders. This is convenient. It's efficient. And it's all in one building," says Schweiger. "If there's a special consult needed, we can get that in on the same day. At the end of the day, they review all their results with a physician and meet with a health coach to talk about their goals."

It's more comprehensive than an annual physical.

A lot more.

A comprehensive physical exam is just the start. More than a dozen additional tests and services are provided to give executives a clearer picture of their health, including calcium scoring, a cardiac stress test and lab work.

All this testing catches things a typical physical can't. And specialists and consultants are readily available to look into potential health problems further. Schweiger says that around 58 percent of patients who receive an executive physical need additional testing and procedures.

"We've had instances where we've had a cardiologist consult on the same day and a stent placement the next day," she says. "We truly saved their lives. If they would've come in for just an annual wellness check, those things would probably not have been detected."

And the process is more personal.

Normally, patients are just one of many seen throughout the day. But in the Executive Health program, patients are the only one in the clinic that day.

Doctors and specialists are available to consult with executives as needed based on the medical results. And executives can add additional consults to tailor their physical to their own health and personal wellness goals.

That personalized approach extends beyond the tests and consultations. While other Executive Health programs bus patients to multiple locations or buzz them when it's time for the next test, The Iowa Clinic takes a different approach. Every executive physical is overseen by a health coordinator who leads the patient to each test or consult, helps tailor the day to the health goals of the individual and comes up with a plan to maintain or improve wellness after the visit.

The benefits of an executive physical outweigh the costs.

This is not your average preventative exam. So it's not free.

But the $4,092 price tag is small compared to the loss of production from a major health problem with an executive and the damage that could do to the business.

"It's definitely an investment, but it's the right investment," Schweiger says. "It's one more way to invest in your leadership and build a culture of wellness at your company."

From perks to bonuses, companies already invest a lot in their key leaders. Executive physicals are just a different type of investment — one that can produce immediate returns through healthier business leaders.

"Nothing's worse than having a top C-level individual be down and out due to a catastrophic health problem. That can leave a company quite disrupted," Schweiger says. "It's almost like life insurance. Why not invest in preventative health care and services to make sure your top leaders are healthy?"

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