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Raise your hand if you know someone who hates going to the doctor. Raise your other hand if you know someone who waits to go to the doctor until something is wrong. Chances are, we all know someone who is like this (maybe this is you). But we’re here to tell you that avoiding routine check-ups and taking the “I’m only going if I feel like I’m dying” approach is not a good idea and can actually make things much worse in the long-run.
What is preventative care?
When we talk about preventative care, we’re talking about things like wellness exams, vaccinations, and routine screenings like colonoscopies and mammograms. The goal of preventative care is to keep you healthy and address any changes to your health BEFORE your symptoms turn into something serious.
How can preventative care impact me?
Did you know that the four leading causes of death are preventable chronic diseases? That’s right! Heart disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and strokes are preventable. When it comes to vaccines, they were created to help protect you from diseases that are (you guessed it) preventable.
Having an established primary care provider who knows your medical history means that they can detect changes to your health before it turns into something major, and they can also make sure that you’re current on vaccines and routine screenings. If you’re still not convinced, consider the fact that adults who have a primary care provider have 19% lower odds of premature death than adults who skip having a primary care provider and only go to specialists.
When we’re talking about preventative care, we can’t forget to mention how this impacts your wallet. People who don’t have a primary care physician often end up just going to the emergency room because they don’t have any other option. If you know anything about healthcare, you know that going to the emergency room is much more expensive than being seen by a primary care physician. Managing a chronic disease isn’t cheap either. In fact, health care costs are the number one cause of bankruptcy. If for nothing more, get yourself a primary care provider in an effort to minimize the burden of healthcare-related debt.
What are my next steps?
If you already have a primary care provider, but you’ve been slacking on your routine care, then we encourage you to make an appointment right away so that you can get back on track!
If you don’t have a primary care provider, you can explore or options and learn more here. Oaklawn offers primary care services at 9 locations, providing you with the flexibility to choose a location that’s most convenient.