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 MercyHealth.com/PrimaryCare to find a provider near them. Patients can schedule online or call to schedule their next appointment. Mercy Health also offers MyChart Video Visits.