Stay healthy with preventative care


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)- Many may think they only need to see their primary care provider if they’re sick, or for an annual physical. But preventative care is key to help you live a healthier and happier life. Emily Schipper, MD, a family medicine provider with Mercy Health Physician Partners Jenison, discusses how your primary care provider can also help with preventive care and help you maintain a healthy life.

What should people be doing to stay healthy:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Healthy diet
  • Stay active and getting regular exercise
  • Manage your blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Getting the right amount of sleep
  • Taking care of your mental health (which is part of your health)

Every person should see their primary care physician every year for a wellness visit.  It’s also important to remember to get your flu shots every year in the fall. If you have particular risk factors such as a chronic disease, obesity or a family history of a disease, additional screenings may be recommended. Talk with your physician about a schedule that’s best for you.

Children 3 years and older should see their doctor every year. After a newborn’s appointment at week 1 they should go to monthly well-visits until 6 months, then every 3 months. At 2 they will be seen every 6 months.

At what ages do annual screenings start for men and women? Starting at age 45 men should be screened for prostate and colon cancer.  Women should have a yearly pap smear starting at age 21.  Mammograms are annual starting at age 40 – some women may need to start screening earlier depending on family history.  Women should also be screened for colon cancer starting at age 45

For people looking for a primary care provider, they can visit to find a provider near them.  Patients can schedule online or call to schedule their next appointment. Mercy Health also offers MyChart Video Visits.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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