Physician, Heal Thyself

There’s an old saying that “doctors make the worst patients.” I can personally attest to that. Somehow, despite my best of intentions, I frequently find myself falling out of sync with routine annual exams, special studies and other specialty care. Let’s face it, we’re all busy. Life is hectic, so it’s no wonder we fail to prioritize our health when feeling our best.

Perhaps you can identify with being turned down for a prescription refill request as the pharmacist reports that, unfortunately, it’s time to see the doctor before another script can be dispensed. Suddenly there are frantic calls with appointment times in the far too distant future as you stare into the depths of an empty prescription bottle. That’s the usual wake-up call to get those appointments on the books for most of us, doctors-as-patients included!

In fact, I just spent a solid hour on the phone calling a lengthy list of my own physicians after my prescription refill requests were turned down. Having called my cardiologist, ophthalmologist and scheduled a mammogram and bloodwork, I’ll be getting those refills. I plan to drop in to get my booster vaccinations. I am now even motivated to schedule those age-appropriate screening tests I’ve never had to do before. What is even more important, I’ll be placing importance on my own health. After all, isn’t there another saying – I believe it goes, “Physician, heal thyself.” That’s just what I intend to do with the help of my own doctors.

What are the appointments we need and when should we book them? Guidelines tend to change based on one’s age and gender. The National Institute of Health has a complete listing of guidelines ranging from general physical examinations to mammograms, colonoscopies, dental and eye exams. Click here to see this list.