For many of us, annual doctor visits stopped when our mothers stopped making the appointments for us. The fact is, wellness is a lifelong journey and regular maintenance appointments are an important part of that.
These visits focus on preventative services, counseling, education and disease screening that can help prevent future problems. Routine follow-up on stable chronic problems including ordering of labs and medication can also be addressed during these appointments.
What is Preventative Medicine?
In order to stress the importance of preventative medicine, let’s start by providing an explanation of what it means. The definition is quite simplistic, as these services aim to prevent any illnesses or diseases from occurring by providing education on living a healthy lifestyle and/or early detection of potential diseases and illnesses to develop. Meaning, we are seeking to catch a disease or illness early, in the hopes of preventing it from developing into something less treatable and more serious in the future.
Services that are considered preventative care include:
- Lab tests
- Screenings – such as cancer screenings, colonoscopies, prostate exams, mammograms, pap smears, etc.
- Blood pressure check
You may notice that many of these preventative services are routine during your annual physical or routine checkup.
Why is Preventative Medicine Important?
This type of medicine is critical as it screens for early disease detection and screens for risk factors for disease or injury, normally before any symptoms are present. If caught early, many diseases can be prevented or even cured. If you could avoid an illness wouldn’t you choose to do so? Aim to prevent disease and illness by going in for your regular checkups and living a healthy life.