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As we get older, we start understanding the importance of seeing our doctor on a routine basis. But exactly how often should we visiting different healthcare providers and what screenings should we do in a course of a lifetime?
Here are few things you should see your physician about to stay healthy:
PCP/Family Medicine Physician
Visit your primary care physician once a year for an annual check-up and to receive your flu vaccines and other immunizations. At this time, your physician can also recommend blood tests and any other screenings you may need for your health.
It’s important to see your doctor for screenings. Here are recommended health screenings by age:
- Cholesterol check in your twenties, and then yearly once you turn 25. If levels are normal, labs will be checked every five years.
- Full body skin exam to check for suspicious moles or other skin conditions
- Women: Exam for breast lumps, pelvic exam, pap smear starting at the age of 21
- Men: testicular exam
- Women: Mammograms start at the age of 40 and should be done annually. If breast cancer runs in the family or if there are other risk factors, mammograms should begin earlier
- Men: Prostate screenings start at the age of 50. If high risk, then screenings will start at 40.
- Annual full body scans to check for suspicious moles or skin lesions
- Colonoscopy should be done at age 50, and screenings should be completed every 10 years.
- 65 and older
- Many of the above screenings should be done annually in addition to the following:
- Starting at the age of 65, men and women should undergo a bone density study every 2-5 years
If you are curious about the condition of your skin or any other general questions, a once a year visit the dermatologist is adequate. However, if you are worried by changes in your skin—new/altering moles or acne—it’s important to make an appointment right away.
According to physicians, women over the age of 18 (sexually active or not) should see a gynecologist at least once a year. If you are pregnant, you’re likely to visit the gynecologist much more frequently.