Routine Medical Exams are Important

By Gabrielle L. Wheeler

Recently, we were all sick in my house with one thing or another and for a week we were all taking some kind of antibiotic. After our experience, I was left thankful that we have been fortunate enough to see the same doctor since the kids were born.

My daughter was having a skin reaction to the chemicals in the pool she was going to daily during the summer recreation program. Our doctor was booked, but we were able to see another provider at the office – a very common thing these days. Unfortunately, the provider was unable to diagnose my daughter and our doctor was called into the visit for a moment. Luckily, since we have been seeing him for so long, he recalled that she has had past skin issues and was able to diagnose her problem as an exasperation due to the pool water.

If you have noticed that it is hard to get an appointment with your medical provider, it is the same almost everywhere. It may be due to provider shortage, but after having worked in a medical office myself for a few years, I understand it to be due to more people being seen more often. In the past few years, insurance companies and the state have been pushing offices to make sure all their patients are seen at least yearly for a physical. This is a good thing because at the very least, a yearly visit with your provider lets you get to know your provider and your provider know you. Even better, more health problems are diagnosed. High blood pressure and diabetes are both serious health issues that can be easily overlooked due to obscure symptoms, or a complete lack of physical symptoms as in high blood pressure. Routine health checks can get these conditions identified and under control early on so that they do not blossom into major health problems that can seriously alter a person’s quality of life. While preventative care can seem like an inconvenience now, treating major health problems is a major inconvenience and can interfere with daily life as you know it.

If you do not have a provider, it is probably time to look into finding one. Everyone should get yearly routine checkups: men, women, and children. If you don’t know where to start looking, call your insurance company to inquire what offices accept their insurance, check online, or call the office you are interested in directly. If you are lucky, hopefully you will find a doctor you wish to stick with as my family has been able to and develop a long-term relationship with them, so they know your quirks in hard-to-diagnose situations.

Gabrielle Wheeler is a freelance writer from the heart of the Finger Lakes Region. On her parenting blog,, she writes about tending to the whole child and parent. She also works in a local health center as an interpreter/patient navigator

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