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Mistake #1

 

Skipping your routine office visit to save the price of your co-pay.  After all, you reason, you’re fairly healthy and your chronic medical conditions (such as hypertension, diabetes, or asthma) seem to be under good control.  Why should you pay for someone to tell you what you already know?

 

Don’t ignore the importance and value of that routine visit.   The questions your doctor asks you (called “taking a medical history”), the physical examination your physician performs and the lab or diagnostic tests he or she orders are all designed to assess treatment for your chronic problems (to be sure these therapies are still effective) and to screen for other problems you may not even know you have (because they are not causing any symptoms).  Early detection is essential for successful treatment of many problems, including cancer, hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes, to name just a few.  Maintaining a regular schedule of visits with your doctor (at least every 12 months if you are age 5-50 and healthy … more often if you are under age 5 or over age 50 and/or have one or more chronic medical conditions) is your best defense against these “silent” illnesses.

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