How Often Should You Get Routine Checkups at the Doctor?
Prevention and maintenance is important for many things in life, but it is especially important when it comes to our physical health. The goal of preventative care is to identify risk factors and underlying signs and symptoms before an illness or disease becomes chronic, or life-threatening.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 6 in 10 adults in the U.S. have a chronic disease and 4 in 10 adults have two or more. The main chronic contributors to death and disability include heart disease, cancer, and diabetes all of which can be controlled, minimized, or prevented if caught early. Common preventative services and screenings include:
- Blood pressure
- Diabetes screening
- Skin check
- Vision and hearing
- Cancer screenings (breast, colorectal, cervical, testicular, prostate)
The logic of preventative care and its benefits is a no-brainer, but in reality, only about 20 percent of adults in America actually get the recommended preventative services. This could be caused by a number of factors including lack of information, fear of the doctor, or not having health insurance.
You should make it a routine to visit your primary care doctor consistently, even when you are healthy, as you may be unaware of an underlying condition that could easily be caught and treated before it progresses. The recommended time-frame for routine preventative care is outlined below.
Young Adults (18-39)
Young adults should go in for a routine physical exam once every two years. Common screenings and services include:
- Breast exam
- Pelvic exam and PAP smear
- STD screening
- Pregnancy and family planning
- Testicular cancer screening
- Annual flu shot
- TDAP booster (every 10 years)
- Breast exam
- Colorectal screening (beginning at age 50)
- Osteoporosis screening (bone density test)
- Annual flu vaccine
- Shingles vaccine (after age 60)
- Prostate exam
Seniors (65 and older)
- Mammogram (every two years for women age 65-74)
- Pelvic exam and PAP Smear (may stop after age 65 if you have had 3 negative tests in the last 10 years)
- Colorectal screening (until the age of 75)
- Annual flu vaccine
- Pneumococcal vaccine
Catching the warning signs upstream through primary prevention can decrease your chance of chronic disease and illness downstream, or later-in-life.
These recommendations and guidelines fall under the umbrella of preventative care and everyone is different. You should always consult with your doctor about how often you should receive medical treatment, services and screenings.
At Tripment, we believe that healthcare can be done better, and it starts with helping people understand the importance of preventative care, and what screenings and services are available to them. Click here to find a reputable primary care provider who can help you stay on top of your routine medical needs.
- Tripment TeamA Complete Guide to Starting a Telemedicine PracticeThe COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the growth of telemedicine, making it easier for both physicians and patients to realize its many benefits. Definitive Healthcare Analysts reported a 6,000% increase in telehealth claims between the summer of 2019 and the summer of 2020, with over 42% of Americans using telehealth during the pandemic.
- Tripment Team10 Tips to Improve & Optimize Patient FlowPoor patient flow creates bottlenecks that can significantly decrease the quality of care your practice delivers. An improved and streamlined patient flow results in positive health outcomes for your patients and ensures your services are delivered effectively and efficiently.