Hey, when was the last time you saw your family doctor? If it’s been longer than the last time you did your taxes, this message is probably for you: those annual appointments are important. Don’t believe us? We spoke with Inspira Health’s Emmanual Amofah, DO, to get the inside scoop on just how helpful those appointments can be. 

An investment

Many people walk around feeling fine and thinking, “I don’t need to see a doctor. I’m not sick.” But, Dr. Amofah points out, feeling fine right now doesn’t mean you can ignore your health. “I tell patients to think of this as an investment in your health,” he says. “We’re not just here to treat conditions, we’re here to help you live your life the healthiest and most joyful you can.” 

You can work with your doctor to set health goals and look at your lifestyle to make sure you’re making choices and taking action to set yourself up for a long and healthy life. “I love when patients come to see me with no issues, but say they want to optimize their health goals,” he says. “I’ll talk them through the recommendations and break them down. So with the recommended 150 minutes of cardiovascular movement each week, I’ll give them different ways they can achieve that.” 

Catch things early

You know the pile of laundry on that random bedroom chair you have? Well, it’s a lot easier to handle that pile when it’s just a few extra shirts, but as time goes on and you ignore it, it grows and grows and suddenly it’s an all-night project. The same goes for your health. 

“When you come to us with symptoms, it’s already a problem,” says Dr. Amofah. “When we see our patients regularly, we have the chance to catch issues earlier and start treatments earlier. If we’re early enough, we could even try making diet and lifestyle changes instead of prescribing medications. So it’s important to tell your doctor any issues or concerns you may be having.”

Taking measures to catch disease early also includes health screenings, like prostate cancer screenings and mammograms, regular STD screenings for sexually-active patients, annual OB/GYN visits for people with female reproductive systems and more. And your doctor can help you stay on top of all of it. 

Keep up with vaccines 

Did you know there’s more to your vaccine list than the Flu and Covid vaccines? At 50, patients are encouraged to get the shingles vaccine (especially if you had the chicken pox). At 60, it’s now recommended to get the RSV vaccine – a recent uptick is taking a hit on the healthcare system. Every 10 years, it’s recommended to get the Tetanus vaccine. 

It can sound like a lot to keep up with, but your doctors are here to help you keep track and stay on track with that list of vaccines. “Vaccines are healthcare’s initial line of defense against disease,” says Dr. Amofah. 

February 2024
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