ASK THE DOC–How can I get back to managing my health and seeing a doctor regularly?

QUESTION: Since COVID, I fell behind on my regular appointments. How should I get back in the swing of things taking care of my health? 

ANSWER: Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic began more than three very long years ago, many individuals, for one reason or another, have found themselves in the situation of falling behind in receiving routine health care services. Many individuals are now finding themselves in the difficult situation of being years behind in receiving their age-appropriate preventative care services and health screenings and chronic disease management and feel lost in knowing where to begin to catch-up on their health.

If you can identify, then delay no longer! If you already have a primary care provider with whom you previously followed with, reach out to their office today to schedule an appointment.
Do you find yourself unsure of what kind of visit to schedule? If you identify as already having chronic disease conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol that have not been assessed in some time or if you find yourself with specific complaints or ailments that you have been putting off, schedule a follow-up appointment to discuss your specific conditions or concerns with your provider. If you do not identify as having chronic medical conditions and simply want a “check-up” to assure you are caught up on all your age-appropriate health screenings and preventative services, reach out to your provider to schedule a wellness exam. The annual wellness exam is a great opportunity to obtain screening services for certain cancers and chronic medical conditions and can additionally ensure that your immunizations and cancer detection are current while providing you with further preventative education.

If you do not have a primary care provider that you are established with, reach out to your local primary care clinics and specify that you wish to establish as a new patient. Most locations are accepting new patients. If you don’t know where to begin, your local health department should have access to a list of primary care facilities available in your area. Most appointments can be scheduled through a phone call to your selected facility; however, some do offer scheduling through their websites if they have one. When you schedule, let the practice know that you wish to begin care as a new patient.

If you find yourself fearful of physically entering a medical clinic to receive care or find yourself in the difficult situation of having difficulty catching a ride to a visit, most primary care facilities are offering telehealth services. Telehealth services generally entail a video visit with a provider to discuss your concerns and are carried out just as an office visit would be, without the physical examination, utilizing a tablet, computer or smart phone with video capability for communication. While, in some cases, it may not be as good as an in-person visit, telehealth visits serve as a valuable resource for ensuring your access to care if you cannot physically see a provider in-person.

So, delay no longer! Let’s get back to health today!

This question from a reader was answered by Jennifer Rose, DO. She practices at Robert C. Byrd Clinic in Lewisburg.


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