Partner with a DPC Practice for Proactive Preventive Medicine
Every relationship we have with our patients is a partnership. As a family nurse practitioner, my job is to help people get healthy and stay healthy. To do that, I must get them to look down the road five, 10 or 20 years, because what we do now can have a big impact on our health years later.
That’s where preventive medicine comes into play. To maintain ongoing health, patients must commit to getting an annual physical and follow our recommendations for health tests and lifestyle changes. We may suggest to patients that they exercise, lose weight, or get a mammogram or colonoscopy if it’s age appropriate. Self-monitoring and care also makes a difference. We recommend young males ages 15 to 35 do testicular exams, and adult women perform monthly self breast exams.
Ultimately, it becomes the patient’s decision to follow through on our recommendations. We can explain why these things are important and support them, but it’s up to them to actually do it.
Family Medical History Plays Role in Prevention
Knowing your family’s medical history is probably one of the most important things we can do for preventive care, because we learn a lot from that. Each one of us is 50 percent from our mom genetically and 50 percent from our dad. If we know the genetic history of our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and other close relatives, we can be aware and watch out for some of the problems that afflicted our family members.
Some of the big health problems we look for include cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. If we know someone in your family suffered with one of those diseases, we’ll screen for those and also work to develop a healthy lifestyle to possibly offset some of that genetic predisposition.
We have some patients who are adopted or know nothing about their family history. If someone doesn’t know their medical history, I like to tell my patients that we will watch you for everything. We do that with all of our patients. Say you have heart disease in your family history, we’re still going to watch out for other diseases, even if they don’t run in your family.
Direct Primary Care Approach to Preventive Medicine
As a direct primary care practice, our core focus is on preventive care. We offer members unlimited access to myself and the doctors so patients can address problems as they pop up, before they turn into major health issues. We set aside at least an hour for annual physicals, so we can really take the time to talk about appropriate health tests and lifestyle changes that will set you up for a lifetime of wellness.
When somebody with a lot of diseases seeks treatment, medical professionals tend to focus on the problems. But we need to look at the whole person, and we can’t neglect a healthy patient. Partner with our direct primary care practice to get a comprehensive look at your health and personalized recommendations for preventive care.
At Westfield Premier Physicians, we’ll look at all of the things that comprise your overall health. From immunizations to health screenings, we’ll address how to keep you a healthy version of yourself instead of always focusing on the disease part.