A lot of people talk to me, or generally get frustrated at me, about how many appointments they need to make regarding their health. Now many of these people have specific ongoing or short-term health issues that take up more time. Others may be playing catch-up for check-ups of various kinds as they get more organized, or when they are lucky enough to get insurance again with a new job (we're not going into that issue here!) Many people are concerned about missing work as well, feeling like it will look like they are taking an exceptional amount of time to go to doctors.
I realized that we are all supposed to go to more doctors appointments than we might realize, especially as we age. Here are some of the standard appointments recommended for preventative health (I'm not making any judgment on doing these or not, just saying they're "standard."):
- Physical every 1 to 3 years, depending on age
- Eye exam 1x year
- Dentist 1-2 x year
- Dermatologist - skin check for cancer- 1x year
- OB/GYN 1 x year (women)
- Mammogram every 1 to 2 years (women over 40)
This is without going into colonoscopies, and whatever I am not really aware of at all, or specific screenings for people at higher risk for specific illnesses.
And it is not including medication management for anything from ADHD to high blood pressure; nor treatment for any kind of injury or ache or pain. Or check-ups to make sure an earlier issue is still resolved.
Just that short list puts us at about 6 check-ups per year, or one every other month. I think that if you look at it that way, it seems like a lot of doctor's appointments, even if you are healthy, which hopefully puts into perspective that it is "normal" to have to take time to go to the doctor.