The importance of preventive care

Preventive health, also known as health screenings, is important to detect potential health issues before they become serious. Elizabeth Martinez is a family nurse practitioner certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (FNP-C).

Martinez works at the University Health Edgewood clinic. She answers our questions about preventive health.

What is preventative health?

Preventative health care or what most people know as health screenings. These are done at certain stages of life in order to prevent certain diseases.

Some examples include:

  • Mammograms to screen for breast cancer
  • Colonoscopy for colon cancer
  • Discussing weight loss
  • Discussing smoking cessation to prevent heart disease

Why is preventive health so important?

We’re looking at disease prevention by decreasing one’s risk and limiting the effects of chronic disease on one’s life. Living the best and healthiest life possible as we age. We don’t have to settle for “I’m just getting older.”

Why is it important to have an assigned primary care provider?

Ideally, your primary care provider provides preventative screening, has your health history, monitors any chronic illness and medications, testing and brings in specialist when the need arises.

How can I prepare for my primary care appointment?

Bring as much information as possible. If it’s a first visit to establish care, dates of surgical procedures, names of previous providers and medication bottles of medication currently being taken is important and will help provide needed information.  

Make a list of your concerns, with the most important to you listed first. Bring someone with you to help remember information that was discussed.

Know that every concern may not be addressed in one visit. But your PCP will make every effort to address them at future visits.

How often should I see my primary care provider?

You should see your PCP once yearly for most, sometimes once every three months, sometimes monthly. It depends on your health.  

Schedule an Appointment with University Health

Find a primary care provider at University Health. We want to help you stay healthy, no matter what stage of life you’re in.

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