The obvious reason to go to the doctor is because you feel sick. It’s important to make an appointment or visit your local walk-in clinic if you’re experiencing troubling symptoms, but that isn’t the only reason why you should see your doctor.
Other reasons why you should schedule an appointment with a physician include:
• Working through an injury claim
• Building a relationship with a physician
• Identify health risks
• Routine tests
• Peace of mind
• Poor sleep
• Something doesn’t seem right
Working Through an Injury Claim
If you were injured, chances are, you have visited a doctor, but are you going to follow-up appointments?
It’s always a good idea to go to follow-up appointments when they are recommended by your doctor, but they are a must if you are working through an injury claim. If you don’t go to those additional appointments, it can lead to what’s called “gaps in treatment“, which in turn can lead your insurance company to deny your claim.
If you’re concerned about how many appointments you’re having at the doctor’s office, bring up your concerns at your next appointment. Ask your doctor to schedule essential appointments only. You will continue to get the care you need, and keeping all of your appointments will look good to your insurance company if you’re waiting on an injury payout.
Building a Relationship With a Physician
There are a lot of things a doctor can help you with, but only if they know more about your family history, as well as your previous health challenges. A doctor can recommend tests and make supplement suggestions based on your specific information. In addition, having a doctor who knows and cares about your entire health history can put your mind at ease when you visit the doctor’s office too.
There are multiple things you can do to build a relationship with your doctor, but the easiest is simply to make an appointment!
That doesn’t mean you should make meaningless appointments regularly, but it does mean that you should schedule annual checkups. It might also mean emailing or calling your doctor when you have medical questions instead of Googling your questions on the internet. Not only will your doctor learn more about the symptoms you’re facing with an in-person appointment, they can also provide qualified, meaningful suggestions because they know about your health and your wellness goals.
Identify Health Risks
What is your family history when it comes to things like cancer and heart disease? Do you know what your cholesterol or blood pressure is? There are a lot of screening tests you can have done that can identify whether you’re at an increased risk of some illnesses.
You don’t have to know what screening tests you should take either! When you have a relationship with a physician, they can recommend tests based on your family and health history, as well as go over the results of your tests with you.
Whether you choose to have screening tests done or not, you should definitely schedule appointments to have routine tests done throughout your life. For example, just some of the tests you should have done, and when you should have them done, include:
• Pap smears for women beginning in their 20’s
• Hypertension screening in your 20’s
• Cholesterol screening in your 20’s
• Skin cancer screening in your 30’s
• Mammogram for women in their 40’s
• Colonoscopy in your 50’s
Bone density scan for women in their 50’s
Having regular appointments with a doctor who knows your health history can help make sure you’re getting the tests you need, when you need them. For example, if your family history includes colon cancer, your doctor may recommend that you have a screening earlier than what’s recommended for the rest of the population.
Peace of Mind
Experiencing a troubling symptom and you aren’t sure what it means? Whether you’re getting headaches more often or you have developed a drippy nose, scheduling an appointment with a doctor instead of Googling your symptoms is a good idea.
Googling your symptoms may feel good in the moment, but chances are, you’re going to walk away worried that you might have a severe illness when you really don’t. A doctor can reassure you that your tension headaches are due to a lack of sleep instead of a brain tumor and save you quite a few restless nights.
There are lots of reasons why you might struggle to get a good night’s sleep. Your doctor can help you avoid restless nights worrying about medical conditions you don’t have, but they can also help you overcome other sleep problems.
It’s true that things like anxiety and sleep hygiene can affect the quality of the rest you get, but so can a wide variety of medical conditions that your doctor can treat. Just a few that could be keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep include:
• Breathing problems
Having regular visits with your doctor can help a lot. When your doctor has been treating you for a while, they have more in-depth knowledge of your health challenges and what medication you take. They can provide you with treatment options that will have the greatest impact on your quality of sleep.
Something Doesn’t Seem Right
Does something feel off? Maybe you’re feeling more tired than usual with no change in your sleep, you have a new spot on your skin that gets you thinking about skin cancer, or you feel like your heart rate has been higher than usual? No matter what doesn’t seem quite right, a visit with your doctor can put your mind at ease. Your visit also has the potential to uncover a serious problem while it can still be treated.
By all means, schedule an appointment with your doctor when you’re feeling ill, but that shouldn’t be the only time you schedule an appointment! You’ll enjoy great health throughout your lifetime when you schedule appointments with your doctor for the reasons on this list.