Going to the doctor is one of those things that nobody really wants to do. You typically have to take time off of work, prepare yourself for good or bad news (depending on the appointment), and if you are without insurance (or even with insurance), sometimes spend a lot of money.
You may feel like 2019 just started — I know I do, but it’s already almost April and we need to all make sure we are keeping up with our doctors appointments. Getting check ups once a year should be the most important thing on your “new year” list, but if you haven’t made time in 2019 yet for all those doctors visits, here are three appointments you should make a priority.
Did you know that more people are diagnosed with skin cancer in the U.S. than all other cancers combined? If found early, skin cancer is highly treatable. That alone should motivate you to get any abnormalities checked out. Make sure you know the risk factors and keep an eye on anything that looks suspicious. Your dermatologist is the perfect person to look at skin pigmentation, a mole that looks a little funny, or any sort of rash.
Ladies, we all know these appointments are not the most fun, but it is very important that we keep up with our annual exams. Seeing a gynecologist once a year is very important to a woman’s overall health. As a general rule, all women should have a pelvic exam at least once per year, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
For women over 40, a yearly breast exam should be something you never miss as well. Research has shown that this is by far the most effective early breast cancer detection strategy. Make your appointment with your gynecologist a time to talk about family plans, sexual history, or even more general health concerns like depression or anxiety.
3. Primary Care
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 45 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds and 28 percent of 30- to 40-year-olds don’t have a primary care provider. Even if it’s an extra thing to schedule, though, we all need to be seeing our primary care physicians. There are many benefits to keeping up with your primary care doctor, such as medication management, helps with care coordination and should have an overall scope of everything going on with your health.
If you need help finding the right doctor for you, use a site like HealthGrades or ZocDoc to look for options with reviews in your area. Even if it takes some time and effort, it’s incredibly important to make your health a priority in 2019 and in the years to come.