The Value of a Good Physical Exam
In my preventive medicine, executive health practice, there are three kinds of patients: (1) the “healthy," (2) the "here's-hoping," and (3) the "hear-no-evil, see-no-evil.”
I see only the first two groups. I do not see the "my-health-problems-do-not-exist-unless-a-physician-finds-them” group. This last group stays “healthy” by avoiding my office — at least they were healthy until they ended up in the coronary care unit.
Guess which group I most need to see.
Why should and how can you convince those important in your life to see me or a good primary care physician for a really good history, exam and lab work? Tell them that our primary task today is to keep people as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
Thirty years ago the purpose of a medical exam was to find bad disease early. A scary thought.
No more. Today, the entire focus is to prevent future disease by identifying treatable risk factors.
A good physician can help a patient prevent 90 percent of type II diabetes, at least 50 percent of all future heart attacks and strokes, 90 percent of lung cancer, maybe 80 percent of colon cancer, and more.
Preventing a heart attack is much easier, and a whole lot cheaper, than treating it well.
Posted 11:16 AM