By Tonya Brown, SRCH Colorectal Cancer Screening Coordinator and Care Oregon Panel Coordinator
Do you only go to the doctor’s office when you are sick or injured? When was the last time that you had your blood pressure checked?
An annual well exam with your primary care provider is the ideal way to get whole-person care all at one time and it is important for people of all ages. Not only does it allow you the opportunity to check in with your provider when you are feeling good, it allows your provider to know your normal baseline so that they have something to compare to when you are truly sick.
An annual well exam will address all body parts and systems, not just one or two that are causing problems when you go to your provider for a “sick” or problem visit. They are going to address your physical, mental, and emotional health, as well as perform many other preventive screenings, including blood work.
Screenings are a way to make sure that you are staying healthy. Some of the screenings that may be done include oral, hearing, and eyesight tests. Your provider may draw blood to check your cholesterol, blood sugar levels, as well as blood count and other tests. They may refer you for further cancer screenings as well, for instance, mammograms, or a colonoscopy. They check all of you to make sure you are well and have the best possible chance of staying well.
They may recommend that you go to a specialist for care, these specialty providers are there to help you achieve your health goals. They specialize in areas that primary care providers do not. You, your primary care provider and specialist work together to create a path to wellness with your best health being the main goal. We have all heard the saying, “it takes a village to raise one child,” and that applies to healthcare as well. It takes a village to treat the whole person and not just a symptom you may be having. A team-based approach to preventive care can also connect you to other important resources to support lifestyle change.
Going to your provider yearly, helps lower healthcare costs, preventing disease before it starts. It also gives early access to treatment if something comes up, resulting in better health outcomes. By having a relationship with your primary care provider, you are more likely to ask questions, consider their opinion, and follow their advice.
So, if you have not seen your provider for an annual health exam yet this year, call them today and schedule one. They love to see you when you are well even more than when you are sick!
For more local health and wellness information, resources at www.tillamookcountyhealthmatters.org follow Tillamook County Wellness on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.