If you put off medical visits, screenings or procedures, it’s time to get them back on your calendar.
As stay at home orders begin to ease, you should be thinking about more than whether you’re ready to go to your local restaurant or engage in social activities. Now is the time to also focus on your health and to reschedule medical care you may have postponed or cancelled during the height of the pandemic.
One concern medical professionals have amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is that people are skipping important medical care – and that can cause health issues, especially if you already have a chronic condition. So now is the time to make medical care a priority.
Even if you don’t feel comfortable going to a doctor’s office, some visits can be conducted using telemedicine. This convenient option allows you to visit with a doctor virtually so you can provide information about your health, share concerns, ask questions and get prescriptions. If you have to go in person, know that doctors and hospitals are taking precautions to keep you as safe as possible.
Here are some types of medical care to reschedule now:
- Preventative appointments – You may think your annual physical doesn’t really need to happen, but routine preventative exams are one of the best ways to keep you healthy. They allow you and your doctor to pick up on medical issues early, before they become more serious, and to monitor the status of ongoing conditions.
- Follow-up care – If you had a doctor’s appointment, screening or procedure before the pandemic began and were supposed to return for a follow-up visit, don’t delay it any longer. Just like preventative appointments, follow-up care is critical in keeping you healthier and detecting worsening health issues as early as possible.
- Elective procedures – If the pandemic threw a wrench into your plans for a non-emergency procedure or surgery, it’s a good time to reschedule it. The longer you wait, the more serious any underlying condition may get that caused you to plan to have the procedure in the first place.
- Screenings – People need health screenings at varying intervals, depending on factors such as age, gender, health status and family history. If it’s time for you to have a screening, like a mammogram, colonoscopy or prostate exam, don’t delay. If your doctor has been monitoring your blood pressure, blood glucose or other health indicators, it’s time to also take care of that.
- Vaccinations – It’s important to keep children vaccinated according to recommended schedules. There are also vaccines recommended for adults that shouldn’t be ignored or delayed.
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Date Last Reviewed: May 26, 2020
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD