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Annual Checkup: Have You Made Your Appointment?

Life is hectic, and it’s easy to procrastinate about annual physician visits, but receiving routine preventive exams now can protect your health in the future.

“Women with dependent family members and career responsibilities often say they find it a challenge to schedule time for wellness appointments,” says
Stuart Pickell, M.D., internal medicine physician and pediatrician on the medical staff at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth. “But taking care of yourself is essential for staying healthy and also sets an important example for children.”

Due to the daily hustle and bustle of life, many women don’t stop to think about visiting their primary care physicians for wellness exams. However, the best way to keep an eye on your health is through receiving regular checkups and preventive screenings.

“When patients only visit their physicians when they feel sick, the opportunity to prevent or identify diseases early is lost,” says Theresa Stretch, M.D., internal medicine physician on the medical staff at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital. “Patients eventually develop symptoms, but by that time much of the damage that could have been prevented has already occurred.”

Visiting your physician for annual physicals facilitates a strong patient and physician relationship. This relationship gives him or her deeper insight into your family history along with building a familiarity with your own medical needs that starts when you are younger.

“Many chronic diseases and problems, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, develop early,” says Kathleen Brooks, M.D., family medicine physician
on the medical staff at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Azle. “Because of the information we receive from preventive screenings, we can intervene and help prevent conditions from developing or progressing.”

For a referral to a physician on the medical staff at a Texas Health hospital or to order your free Healthy Woman Kit, visit TexasHealth.org or call
1-877-THR-WELL (1-877-847-9355).

(Summer 2012)

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