For many of us, annual doctor visits stopped when our parents stopped making the appointments for us. The fact is, wellness is a lifelong journey and regular health maintenance appointments are an important part of staying well!
These visits focus on preventive services, counseling, education and disease screening that can help prevent future problems. Sometimes chronic medical conditions and medication follow up appointments can be combined with your annual physical appointment.
What is Preventive Medicine?
Preventive medicine includes services that aim to prevent illness or disease. It includes providing education on a healthy lifestyle. There are many screening tests and procedures that are offered at different stages of life that provide early detection of potential diseases and illnesses. For example, pap smears can catch cervical cancer in its early stages and screening colonoscopies can catch colon cancer in its early stages when it’s still curable. Screening tests aim 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 preventive care can include:
- Screening Lab tests
- Screenings – such as cancer screenings, colonoscopies, prostate exams, mammograms, pap smears, etc.
- Blood pressure checks
Your PCP (Primary Care Provider) will offer age-appropriate preventive screening tests during your annual physical or routine checkup.
What is a Primary Care Physician (PCP) & Why do I Need one?
Primary care physicians manage day-to-day health needs. A long-term relationship with a PCP keeps you healthier and lowers medical costs. A PCP can teach you ways to stay healthy, prevent chronic illness and screen for diseases, treat you when you're sick, and help you get more advanced care when you need it.
Family physicians make the ideal primary care physician because they can treat people of all ages and can take care of your entire family.
5 benefits of having a PCP:
- CONTINUITY. Having a single physician who has seen you for everything from bellyaches to immunizations to blood-pressure control means having a health resource who knows you and your history.
- CONVENIENCE. Your PCP is often nearby and offers same-day appointments. You know the clinic and staff, and they know you.
- HEALTH MAINTENANCE. You see your PCP regularly, and they work to maintain your good health. They manage chronic illnesses and help keep you feeling good.
- EARLY DETECTION. Your PCP discusses regular screening tests and vaccinations
- BETTER COMMUNICATION. Your primary care physician knows you and cares about you. They are the quarterback of your healthcare team and have your interests at heart.
Why is Preventive Medicine Important?
Keeping people healthy and catching disease early is far easier that treating advanced disease. Your primary care family physician is passionate about keeping you healthy and will encourage you to stay up to date on your screening tests and vaccinations. They will council you about important lifestyle measures, meeting you where you are, to make and maintain healthy habits. Most adults should have a routine visit on a yearly basis.
We look forward to helping you stay healthy!
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