From the moment of birth, our children are scheduled for frequent check-ups with a pediatrician who weighs, measures and examines from head-to-toe. As children get older, visit intervals increase from months to twice yearly, to preventative well-visits just once a year. But what happens when we enter adulthood?
We all remember when we outgrew our pediatrician’s office, but for many of us, there has been no adult replacement for the yearly preventative well-exam. Maybe a specialist has prescribed antibiotics for a persistent cough, or you have called for advice from a family member/friend in the medical field (or even your child’s pediatrician!), but only in a pinch. Perhaps you have had several specialists caring for different parts of you, but only you see the whole picture.
Just like kids, adults need a committed primary care physician. This person is a thoughtful collaborator in the day-to-day of your health. Your doctor can help boil down the overwhelming sea of health information to what is useful and pertinent to you.
Seeing a primary care doctor regularly for a physical exam, blood work and preventative screenings means that you are less likely to be surprised down the road with a “sudden” diagnosis of heart disease, diabetes, or even cancer. We have all witnessed the tragedy of a friend or family member feeling fine one day and then suffering a heart attack or getting diagnosed with cancer. Having a primary care doctor means that someone with whom you are comfortable knows the details of your medical history and has the focus to keep an eye on all aspects of your health with attention to the road ahead.
In our practice, we talk about stress, concerns, and goals. Whether it’s higher quality sleep, weight loss, or a better work-life balance, your doctor will help you to design lifestyle interventions that get you where you want to go. We look for abnormal markers that pop up years before any medical diagnoses arise.
Primary care focuses on prevention and early management of disease with care tailored to your values. Your doctor’s aim is to help you live a long, healthy, and happy life. If you haven’t had a checkup in a while, why not schedule one now?
Dr. Radha Lewis is a board-certified family physician with fifteen years of experience and specialized training in Women’s Health. Her philosophy is to form a healing partnership with her patients. By taking the time to get know a person thoroughly, she helps them to better understand their own health care needs. She combines the best that Western evidence-based medicine has to offer with elements of complementary and alternative treatment to develop a personalized wellness plan based on her patient’s lifestyle, values and treatment goals.