As you ease into the new year, one of the best things you can do for your family’s health is ensuring everyone is scheduled for their annual primary care visits.
As you ease into the new year, one of the best things you can do for your family’s health is ensuring everyone is scheduled for their yearly primary care visits.
An annual checkup with a primary care provider can help you better understand your risks and prevent problems before they even start.
Your provider may ask for a simple blood draw to check your cholesterol levels, to screen for diabetes and to identify other potential health problems.
Your provider will also discuss immunizations, refer for any additional screenings like mammograms or colonoscopies and ask about your family’s health history, which research shows is the best predictor of your chance of developing an illness. It’s also a good time to discuss any mental health concerns like depression or anxiety.
“It’s important to have that me time just to check in to see how things are going,” says Erron Bell, MD, a MetroHealth family medicine physician. “It’s a great time to get that one-on-one care and develop a rapport with your primary care provider.”
One of the most important things that take place at a primary care visit is a simple blood pressure check. In fact, about half of U.S. adults have high blood pressure, which puts them at risk for heart attack, stroke or even chronic kidney disease.
“High blood pressure is a silent killer,” Dr. Bell says. “Usually, you don’t know your blood pressure is high until you experience a heart attack or stroke. That’s why it’s so important to come in for those checks.”
It’s important to have a provider who knows you as a person – not just a name on a schedule or chart. Building a long-term relationship with your doctor means you have an expert on your side to help you meet your health needs and goals, even as they change over time.
“I always tell my patients we don’t wait until it’s too late and we don’t have all the options available to us,” Dr. Bell says. “Screenings and preventive care visits are important to keep you well now and in the future.”
To schedule an appointment, call 216-778-5500 or schedule online with MyChart. For pediatric appointments, please call 216-778-2222.