(HealthyResearch.com) – The number of healthcare professionals we should see annually depends on several factors, including age and medical history. Still, it’s important for everyone to stay on top of their health. Visiting your healthcare team each year may increase your chances of early detection if something should go wrong, and doing also allows you to build relationships with providers you trust.
Here’s a list of 5 doctors you should see every year:
- General practitioner – If you’re in good health, be sure to visit your GP every 12 months for a physical and to get any necessary vaccines, like the flu shot. If you’re diagnosed with any health conditions, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you might need to visit your family doctor more often.
- Gynecologist – Age and other factors will determine how often you need to see your gynecologist, but most women should be visiting once a year. Although new guidelines no longer recommend annual pap smears, there are a number of other reasons to visit your gynecologist, such as discussing birth control, STD testing, family planning, breast cancer exams, menopause and more.
- Dermatologist – Early detection is key when it comes to skin cancer, so it’s important to schedule regular skin exams. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends visiting the dermatologist once a year (or more if you’re at a higher risk of skin cancer). If you’re experiencing acne or other skin problems, you might need to see a dermatologist more than once a year.
- Dentist – Most dentists recommend having your teeth cleaned every 6 months. How often you should go to the dentist depends on your personal oral and gum health. The American Dental Association recommends that low-risk patients have teeth cleanings at least once a year, while higher-risk patients may benefit from more frequent teeth cleanings. Be sure to schedule in-between appointments if you experience any pain or discomfort.
- Optometrist – If you wear glasses or contacts, it’s important to visit the eye doctor at least once a year to keep your prescription up-to-date. The American Optometrist Association recommends going for an exam every 2 years if you don’t wear glasses or more frequently if you’re at a high risk for vision problems (such as those with diabetes, high blood pressure or eye disease). People over 40 years old should go for an annual exam.
While it’s important for everyone to see these 5 doctors every year, there are other medical experts that you may need to see based on your personal or family medical history. Seeing your general practitioner each year can help point you in the direction of which other specialists you may need to include in your healthcare team as new diagnoses come along. Remember that, when it comes to your health, you’re your own best advocate. Be sure to follow up on any unusual symptoms and never hesitate to get a second opinion if something doesn’t seem right.
~Here’s to Your Health & Safety!
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