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5 Reasons to Schedule Your Health Checkup Today

Published on Jun. 04, 2021

If it’s been a while since your last doctor’s visit, you’re not alone.

But as we begin to prioritize our overall health and wellness again, it’s important to make sure you and your family are up-to-date on your routine checkups and screenings. 

Choosing to see your primary care provider for exams and preventative care is one of the most important decisions you can make. Regular checkups can prevent health problems before they start and can even help to lower medical costs in the future. 

“We’ve missed seeing our patients!” said Nancy Smith, MD, specializing in Family Medicine at Frankfort Medical Group. “We’ve spent the last year worrying about COVID-19, and now it’s time to get back to routine appointments with primary care providers. These checkups give us the opportunity to review your medical concerns and ensure that you’re up to date on appropriate screening tests.”  


What Is a Primary Care Provider?

Your primary care provider (PCP) is a medical professional that partners with you to help guide your healthcare decisions. Many PCPs are trained to see specific types of patients. These may include:

  • Family medicine practitioners
  • These providers see patients of all ages, which can include an entire family.
  • Pediatricians 
  • These caregivers typically focus on children and teenagers
  • Internists 
  • Sometimes called internal medicine doctors, these providers focus on adults and geriatric medicine.
  • Nurse practitioners (NPs), Advanced Practice Providers (APPs), and Physician Assistants (PAs)
  • These healthcare professionals can provide primary care as members of a team that includes a physician. 

No matter which type of provider you see, your PCP should be your first call for non-emergency care no matter what age you are. 


Why Schedule a Preventative Care Checkup?

Here are five good reasons to schedule your annual checkup appointment today:

1. You’ll receive a head-to-toe physical exam.

Some potentially serious conditions, like high blood pressure, may not show symptoms. At your checkup, your provider will perform a complete physical to identify hidden signs of disease. This includes checking things like blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, lung function, and other aspects of your overall mental and physical health. Blood testing may also be ordered to help the doctor find any hidden health conditions.

2. You can stay up-to-date on specialized exams.

Your physician can also alert you to any age-appropriate screenings you’re due to receive, such as eye exams, cholesterol tests, and cancer screenings like a mammogram or colonoscopy. You can usually schedule these exams right at your checkup.

3. You’ll keep up with your vaccine schedule.

Regular immunizations aren’t just for kids—they’re for adults, too. Be sure to discuss which vaccines you need at your visit.

4. You may receive treatment for current symptoms.

Minor or annoying symptoms may signal a bigger health issue. Your PCP may diagnose and address the problem before it gets worse.

5. You can update your medical records.

Your medical history—including your family’s health history—changes over time. It’s important to keep this record current because new health issues, including COVID-19, may affect your risk of developing stroke, diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions.

Be prepared to share your health history when visiting your doctor. A few things to bring with you may include: 

  • A list of any medications or supplements you take
  • A description of any symptoms you have
  • Your questions. Ask your provider to explain the answers if you don’t fully understand them.

Finding a Trusted Patient-Centered Medical Home

A medical home is a team-based healthcare model that is coordinated, accessible, and committed to quality and safety. As the patient, you are part of that team. This partnership means you will always be involved in your own health care decisions.

Your PCP office is considered your medical “home base,” and that’s why it’s so important to find a location you trust. Your medical home will coordinate your care with other doctors, specialists, and community resources that can help you feel better. 

“Being part of a patient-centered medical home has been shown to save patients thousands of dollars in unnecessary care,” said Jim Whelan, MD, Chief Medical Officer Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital and Medical Director of the Munson Clinically Integrated Network and Wexford PHO. “This is through reduced emergency room visits and better coordination of care between the primary care provider, hospital, and medical specialists.”


Scheduling Your Next Appointment

Today’s the day to schedule your next preventative care appointment. Munson Healthcare doctors, nurses, and medical specialists are here for you across 11,000 square miles of northern Michigan. Ready to help you feel your best for whatever comes next. 

“Delaying these appointments can lead to uncontrolled medical problems or challenges we’re able to screen for that are not caught early,” Dr. Smith added. “This can lead to complicated treatments, worse outcomes, and increased expense. Please contact your provider today and make an appointment.”

Contact your PCP to schedule your annual exam or routine screening. If you don’t have a medical home, call Munson Healthcare Find-a-Doctor at 231-935-5886 or FindADoctor@mhc.net. Our team will help you find a physician nearby.

Find A Doctor

If you have immediate questions about your specific symptoms, call Munson Healthcare Ask-a-Nurse at 231-935-0951. Our nurses are answering questions daily from 7 am to 11 pm at no charge to you. 

Ask-a-Nurse   231-935-0951