Thrive by IU Health

July 08, 2021

Get Back on Track With Preventive Care

Get Back on Track With Preventive Care

As people begin returning to activities impacted by the pandemic, it’s a good time to get back on track with healthy habits—especially if you delayed preventive care or routine doctor’s visits in the past year.

“With vaccination rolling out and COVID-19 cases coming down, we’re seeing more patients coming in to catch up and see what they can do to improve their health,” says Huicong Teshima, MD, a family medicine physician with IU Health Primary Care in Fishers.

Teshima says seeing a primary care doctor at least once a year and completing preventive care screenings are two of the most important things you can do to stay healthy. During a yearly physical exam, patients learn what screenings and tests are needed based on their age and medical history.

“In addition to the physical exam, I talk to my patients about current guidelines in terms of screening tests for cancer and make sure that their immunizations are up to date,” she says. “If there are any health concerns, we talk about those.”

Yearly physicals and recommended preventive screenings are important for everyone—even healthy individuals with no current health issues.

“The whole point of getting these tests is to catch disease early,” Teshima says. “When you catch things early, there are more options for treatment and cure. As primary care providers, we want to make sure people live their best life, and prevention is a big part of that.”

To prepare for your yearly physical or wellness exam, Teshima offers these suggestions:

  • Keep a diary of symptoms and ask your family and friends if they’ve noticed anything that may require attention.
  • Write down your questions for the doctor in advance and bring them to your appointment.
  • Make a list of any medications or supplements you take.

In between yearly checkups, it’s important to contact your doctor when you have new symptoms or health concerns.

“You should have a general idea about your baseline health, so if something changes or you notice something that is affecting your daily activities—that’s definitely something to talk about with a medical professional,” Teshima says. “Virtual visits have been very useful during the pandemic; there are lot of health issues we can effectively address virtually, if you’re unable to come in for an appointment.”

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