One of my goals as a physician is to educate my patients and their families about managing their healthcare. This includes a strong focus on prevention and empowering the patient by education.
Being treated by a top doc or well-known specialist for a condition or an acute problem makes sense, especially when we are searching for cutting-edge treatments and the best outcome possible.
However, my job as a primary care physician is to really focus on our patients’ preventive care, and hopefully, they won’t develop major medical problems. We do this with frequent visits and communication with our patients. Empowering our patients to take charge of their health has been vital in keeping them healthier and leading a more independent lifestyle.
Some of the more common health care preventive measures include mammogram, colonoscopy, PSA level checks, vaccinations, cardiac screening, blood work, exercise programs, and diet modification. Most primary care physicians are managing these points with their patients. If not brought up by your doctor, be proactive and ask and expect a plan to address these preventive measures.
When dealing with a chronic condition like high blood pressure, chronic pain, or diabetes, ask for all treatment options, as no two patient cases are alike, and having tailored medical care provides better focused outcomes. Sometimes getting a second opinion or a specialist involved can be helpful in providing a fresh perspective.
There is a lot of information on the internet about medical diseases and conditions. Be careful of where you are getting the information. I always encourage patients to research, but to identify accredited websites that discuss evidence-based medical care. There are great sites on holistic approaches to treat conditions as well but should be discussed with your physician prior to starting any kind of over-the- counter supplement or treatment. Avoid getting false hope by reading one person’s experience or cure and assuming that will automatically work for you. There is also no exact way to verify that their story is even true.
With COVID-19 now approaching two years, prevention has become even more important. In summary, work closely with your trusted primary care physician who should be able to navigate and assist you. Remember that preventing a health-related problem will most often have a better outcome than waiting for something adverse to occur and then trying to treat it.
Hansa Medical Groupe has offices at 5250 Old Orchard Road, Suite 300, in Skokie, and in Chicago, 847-920-0902, hansamedicalgroupe.com.