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During the Coronavirus Pandemic, many of us had no choice to put off scheduling doctor appointments since most offices were closed. With all, that was going on, the fear of venturing into an ER or clinic was not a priority for many of us. Although COVID is still lurking upon us, therefore it’s very important that you book all your doctor appointments as soon as possible. Summer is officially over and as we are entering Fall that means flu season shortly will start looming. So if you delayed your health care services during the pandemic, I will share what type of doctor should a woman see annually and schedule ASAP.
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Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. I have no medical training of any kind. The information presented in this post is purely to share my experience. This is just a list of doctors you should be seeing, each year to make sure you are keeping on top of your health and wellness.
Doctor Appointments to book asap
1. Primary Care Doctor
The first appointment you need to book is with your Primary care Doctor for your annual physical. Your Primary care doctor will do a complete screening to check your vital signs like blood pressure, EKG, breast exam, and temperature. A series of blood work that will screen your blood sugar, thyroid, and cholesterol level. If you have any concerns this would be the perfect time to address them with your doctor so he/she can refer you to other specialists. I see this a lot, many women are embarrassed to tell their doctor everything, please don’t feel that you can’t tell them everything. Trust me, they’ve heard and seen it all.
OBGYN is an appointment every woman must pencil in annually and prioritized. This exam consists of a pap smear, screening for STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease), Ovarian Cancer, Uterine Fibroids, and other health conditions. These visits are very important because it allows you to talk about your wellness, family planning, birth control, and sexuality. Your GYN also screens for HIV.
Usually, your Primary Care Doctor or Gynecologist is the one that refers you to get a mammogram during your annual physical. Although there’s been a controversy on the age when a woman should start screening early as at age 40 to 44, I don’t BELIEVE that. Early screening can lead to the early discovery of any issues you may start developing and not know. Information around women’s health at times can be contradictory, overwhelming, and very confusing.
My cousin was 31 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and at the age of 34 died. When she told her doctor she had discovered a lump on her breast, they would not get her screened because she was too young and did not meet the criteria. She didn’t give up and didn’t take NO for an answer and when she finally got screened, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Only you know your body and if you feel something is wrong don’t take NO for an answer. Get a second opinion cancer doesn’t discriminate in age, gender or ethnicity. Many doctors are quick to brush you off with the book material diagnosis they learned at med school and use the magic words, “ you are too young or that doesn’t run in your family”. Colon Cancer doesn’t run in my family and I was diagnosed at age 42, so how is that explained. Please don’t take NO for an answer.
Good dental hygiene is a must, and I’m not talking about brushing your teeth twice a day because that just isn’t enough. Women need a dental exam twice a year, which consists of cleaning, examining the teeth with x-rays.
Although your primary care doctor can perform a skin exam, I rather see a dermatologist. A dermatologist will go in-depth with your skin exam, hair loss, nails, and skin cancer. They have the expertise to help you with any skin conditions, like acne, eczema, rosacea, and other skin diseases. Many dermatological conditions are treated with medication and non-invasive therapy, but some require more invasive treatment, such as surgery.
Even if you have a 20/20 vision, you should see your ophthalmologist yearly. With the usage of tablets, computers, and smartphones nowadays, I find it hard to believe that healthy eyes exist. I know it does, but everyone needs a vision screening as early as their 20’s.
I added a Therapist to my list of doctor appointments for women to make this Fall because we often forget to take care of our mental health and get us towards the path of self-care. A therapist is a licensed and trained mental health professional that can help you get through tough times. Seeing a therapist is not just for people with serious mental issues. Talking to a therapist can help anyone struggling with life challenges, emotional difficulties, and mental health concerns. If you feel the need to see a therapist, it’s important to remember, just because you are seeking help doesn’t mean you’re weak. Is the first step in getting the help you need to get back on track. Just know that they are many types of therapy and when searching for one make sure you are clear about what you want, which will guide you to find the right one.
The web is filled with articles that can be overwhelming and the Information around women’s health can be contradictory. Don’t self-diagnose yourself until you see an actual doctor that will run tests and give you actual results. If you need to find any kind of doctor, check out Zocdoc. The Zocdoc app is the quickest, easiest way to book and keep track of your appointments. Hope you find this list useful and will book your wellness appointment. Take care of your health and leave a comment if all went well.