One of the best ways to stay healthy is to get regular check-ups — even when you’re feeling perfectly fine. Dr. Brian McCormack, a primary care physician at The Healthcare Center, tells us more about the importance of seeing your doctor and the affordable options available for care.
Regular medical checkups have a number of benefits, including learning your cholesterol and blood pressure numbers, ensuring your medical record is up-to-date and establishing a trusting doctor-patient relationship. To learn more, we asked Brian McCormack, MD, a primary care physician with The Healthcare Center at Renown Health, which provides affordable access to care for anyone in our community at any age.
Who requires regular checkups, and why?
It’s not just children who need regular checkups; these exams are important to identify adult risk factors and problems before they become serious. If diseases are caught early, treatments are usually much more effective and less expensive. Ultimately, regular doctor visits will help you live a long and healthy life.
Depending on your age, sex and family history, you might be due for screening tests such as blood, urine, vision and hearing to evaluate your overall health, as well as cancer screenings. Also important are assessments of your blood pressure, cholesterol level and weight; discussions about diet and exercise habits and any tobacco, drug, and alcohol use; immunizations and booster shots; screenings to assess risk of developing certain diseases, including diabetes and cancer; testing for STDs including HIV, and addressing depression and stress to evaluate mental health.
Your primary care provider will recommend how often you should be scheduled for a visit, but for many people, the annual checkup is important for maintaining the screening schedules for their age and gender.
How can people make the most of their medical visits?
The most important thing is that people get established as a patient with a primary care provider — generally a pediatrician, family practitioner or nurse practitioner. Getting access to healthcare when you are sick and in need of medical care is much easier if you already are established as a patient. When you make your appointment, ask for the paperwork to be sent to you in advance so you can save time by having all of the forms completed. Bring a list of questions for your provider to ensure you get the information you’re seeking.
What services does Renown provide for people on limited incomes who may not have a care provider?
Renown’s Healthcare Center is a clinic that provides an array of affordable primary care services for anyone in our community at any age, often on a same-day or next-day basis. We welcome low-income patients and those who have never had regular access to primary care in the past. We offer adult as well as pediatric care to children on Medicaid. This helps us keep the children in our community healthy and promotes productive lives regardless of socioeconomic status.
How does access to affordable healthcare impact the community?
It’s vital to our community’s overall quality of life that the population have access to high-quality, affordable healthcare. A vibrant community healthcare system with a choice of clinics throughout the region helps reduce the incidence of chronic disease, promotes healthy families and is even an indicator that companies consider when deciding to locate in our area.
Visit Renown.org to find a primary care provider or schedule an appointment. To schedule an appointment at The Healthcare Center, call 775-982-5270.