It can sometimes be very difficult to see the doctor every year for an annual check up. And you’re telling me there are five whole health practitioners I need to see? It may seem overwhelming, but in six visits per year (just one visit every other month) you can have your bases covered. To help prevent and detect health issues early on, you need to see these 5 health practitioners.
Luckily, if you have insurance, preventative appointments are likely covered or very cheap.
Typically, an annual check up and biyearly dentist appointments are covered fully, depending on your insurance.
If you don’t have insurance or your insurance doesn’t cover all of the services I have listed, they of course are not mandatory, but will likely be worth it down the road.
Not only does having yearly preventative check up be a great way to ease your mind when it comes to your health, you will also be able to catch anything early on.
It in fact will likely save you money in the long run.
For a variety of conditions, it may take years to get a diagnosis, which may lead to worsened disease state and worse outcomes down the line.
It’s always a good idea to put the money forward now, so you don’t have to drop large sums of money later.
Choosing the right health care practitioners
It is so important to find health care practitioners that are a good fit for you.
You should never feel like you are being rushed, not listened to, or being judged for your behaviors, appearance, or culture.
Choose healthcare professionals that you feel actually care about your health and want you to succeed.
Avoid practitioners that do the following:
- Throw a ton of medications at you without trying to solve the root issue
- Blame medical issues on your weight without digging deeper
- Make you feel unheard, like your symptoms are in your head
- Immediately dismiss your thoughts on lifestyle changes or holistic remedies (even if they don’t think they will help, they should at least be open you trying something if it doesn’t cause harm)
- Shame you for not coming in sooner, or trying a home remedy before coming in (if they are shaming you, they don’t understand the barriers people face to visiting a practitioner)
Spend some time online reading reviews and testimonials. Find someone who aligns with your values and truly cares about your health.
1. The Doc (Primary Care Provider)
Top on the list is an annual check up.
This is typically done by your primary care provider, whether this is a doctor, a physician’s assistant, or a nurse practitioner.
They will check your general health, completing a head to toe physical, and lab tests depending on what they feel is best.
This is going to be the focal point on your health care, so choose someone your values align with and someone you feel comfortable with.
2. The Dentist
Did you know that oral or dental health has a huge impact on your overall health?
We often think of the dentist as someone who makes our smile prettier, but making oral health is very important to ensure your health overall.
In fact, studies have shown that poor oral health can lead to poor pregnancy outcomes, respiratory disease, heart disease, and even diabetes.
Especially as a woman, maintaining good oral health is essential.
Visiting a dentist can also help catch certain conditions such as oral cancer and sleep apnea early on.
So, get in your visit every 6 months!
3. The Gyno (Gynecologist)
If you have a uterus, the gyno is a must.
You may not know that you should have your first gynecologist visit around age 13-15.
The first pelvic exam/pap test will not happen until age 21 though. From then on, you will need one every three years or as needed.
These annual check ups are super important.
Us women often don’t feel comfortable talking about our reproductive health, so it’s important to check in with a gynecologist to make sure what you are feeling or experiencing is normal.
They are also a great resource to discuss birth control options with!
4. The Skin Doc (Dermatologist)
Skin health is another thing we typically view as having little to do with actual health and more to do with looking pretty.
But, going to the dermatologist has more to do than getting perfectly smooth, clear skin.
It is important to go to the dermatologist annually to have your moles check out!
This is a great way to detect abnormal moles early, so they do not progress to anything that could become harmful or cancerous.
5. The Eye Doc (Optometrist)
Lastly, it’s important to get your eyes checked out once a year.
Despite the fact that seeing is pretty nice, having the correct glasses or contacts (if you need them) will help prevent issues such as headaches and brain fogginess.
So don’t only go to the optometrist for only clear vision, go for the prevention of headaches as well!
Healthcare Practitioners You Should See As Needed
These options are not mandatory, but may be used as needed to help out with any other issues you have.
If you have medical issues that need extra care, you may need to see a specialty doctor such as an endocrinologist or gastroenterologist.
This is something you need to discuss with your primary care provider to see if it would be helpful!
I may be a little biased (I am an RD myself), but seeing a Registered Dietitian is a great idea if you are having difficulties maintaining a healthy diet.
There are also dietitians who specialize in certain areas such as women’s health, pediatrics, sports nutrition, eating disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes, cancer, and so on.
If you need help in a specific area, find a dietitian who has the experience!
As a side note – if you are confused about what to eat to be healthy, don’t go on google. Talk to a dietitian or follow dietitians on social media or evidence backed nutrition advice.
Physical therapists can help people in so many ways, whether that includes recovering from sports injuries, other kinds of injuries, or surgeries.
Again, you will likely be referred to a physical therapist if that is something your need.
Why Every Women Needs To See These 5 Health Care Practitioners
Prevention, prevention, prevention.
If you are looking to be your healthiest self while saving money in the long run, it’s important to keep up with your wellness checkups throughout the year.
And remember – it’s only 6 visits every year, meaning 1 visit every other month.
This is pretty manageable isn’t it?
So, take charge of your health, and go to the doctor! You’ll thank me later.