In medicine, the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” holds true and can save you money and your life. According to the World Health Organization, chronic illness is projected to be the leading cause of disability by 2020 and if not successfully prevented or managed these illnesses will become the most expensive problems faced by our healthcare systems.
In recent decades the focus of medicine has shifted from acute care, or treatment of an illness, to prevention. Often, we take our health for granted and delay routine exams and screenings because we don’t feel sick. It is a well-known fact that early detection saves lives. If you don’t already have a primary care provider — consider establishing a relationship with a doctor you trust and are comfortable with.
You are unique and your situation in life is personal and known best by you. You and your doctor can then work together to develop a personalized healthcare plan that fits your needs. It’s time to start being proactive about your health and to get your and your family’s yearly check-ups.
As a family physician I feel it is my job to sift through the news and research and the ever-changing world of medicine to provide you with the latest and most up-to date recommendations. What I like to do during a yearly check-up is work with you to develop a personal preventative service plan that will incorporate your individual situation and preferences. This plan will include goals for diet, exercise, weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
Besides working together to make a plan, we will discuss cancer screening (if you are over 50, a colonoscopy is in order), vaccinations (whooping cough and shingles are becoming particularly important), and the appropriate age to begin a daily aspirin regimen (most over age 55).
As a family physician, I am here to assist you with acute problems and provide preventative care to help you stay healthy. Let’s recommit ourselves to wellness and schedule our annual checkups.
Helpful tips for a successful check-up:
- Make an annual appointment for yourself and your family members
- Ask a friend or family member to come with you to your appointment - this may help to alleviate any anxiety you may have
- Prior to your visit, write down questions you may have for your healthcare provider
- Bring a list of medications you are currently taking
- Schedule any preventative tests that your doctor recommends
- Remember to follow-up on your test results