The foundation for staying healthy is having a primary care physician. This doctor should be your long-term partner in your health journey.
Doctors don’t exist simply to heal us when we’re sick. They’re here to prevent us from getting sick in the first place. One of a primary care physician’s biggest roles is to guide you on the right path by giving advice and answering your questions. So, the first tip on our list should come as no surprise:
- Have annual check-ups with a primary care physician. This is the most important thing you can do to prevent illness and stay healthy. When you see a primary care physician regularly, you establish an important health history that helps your doctor determine if something’s off.
- Feel free to ask healthcare questions of your physician or nurse, even in between appointments. In many cases, you can do this easily via messaging through an electronic health portal. An expert answer is better than anything an internet search can give you.
- Be sure to discuss your health goals or any lifestyle changes you’d like to make. Your physician has insights on diet, exercise, smoking cessation, stress management and much more than you might expect.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for a referral if you’re experiencing mental or behavioral health issues, such as anxiety, depression, or addiction. Your physician can refer you to the right medical professionals who can help.
- Remember to discuss health screenings and immunizations with your physician. As you age, the regular screenings and immunizations you need change, so it’s important to have the latest information.
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