Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I’m Perfectly Healthy, So Why Do I Need to See a Doctor?

You feel fine.  You seem healthy, so why should you visit the doctor?

“This is a question I often hear,” commented Adam Carpentieri, DO, a board certified family practitioner affiliated with St. Joseph Hospital.  “There are many reasons why you should visit a physician annually.  For a person without any significant medical concerns, the most compelling is to catch issues before they become problems.  We need to be proactive, not reactive, when it comes to our health care.”

This point is often forgotten, as we go about our busy lives, taking care of others, our homes, our cars, neglecting our health.  On flights, they tell you in an emergency to first put on your oxygen mask, then help others.  The correlation follows: If we don’t care for ourselves, we won’t be able to care for our loved ones.

An annual exam can uncover a number of hidden problems, such as the beginning of adult onset diabetes, elevated blood pressure or cholesterol or weight issues.  During an exam, discuss any new aches or pains, which could be early signs of arthritis.  Extra weight can cause undue pressure on your joints.  Addressed early, some issues can be treated or avoided.

Dr. Carpentieri explained some patients don’t visit their family doctor because they are seeing specialists.  Patients might say, “I’m seeing a cardiologist or urologist or gynecologist, so why do I need to see another doctor?”

“Your family practitioner can act as your general contractor, coordinating your overall health and ensuring nothing is missed,” said Dr. Carpentieri.  “At St. Joseph, we have a close-knit medical staff.  We know one another, work well together and can collaborate.  This means better care for you.”

If you need a family practitioner, please visit www.chsli.org or call 1855-CHS-4500.