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How often should you go to the doctor?

manage everyday life May 21, 2020

“Your Vitamin B levels are really low,” she told me.

I was surprised. I was young and felt healthy. Something was wrong with me?

But I hadn’t been to the doctor in years. Once I moved to Washington DC after college, it just didn’t feel necessary… and it also felt like a whole lot of work.

(Finding a doctor in a new city, booking an appointment, taking time off work… yeah, no thanks).

But, after a few friends (kindly) forced me to figure it all out, I did.

And that’s when I learned that I was dangerously low on Vitamin B levels.

(In case you’re wondering, Vitamin B affects energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism—among other things).

The doctor told me to start taking a supplement and I was able to get my levels back up again after a few months, but the whole experienced convinced me that regular doctors appointments weren’t optional.

They were necessary.

If you’re feeling like I was a few years ago – overwhelmed by the prospect of finding a doctor and unsure of which doctors you should see and how often, keep reading.

I’ll share with you the doctors you need to see on a regular basis, how to find them, and how often you should see them.

(And if you want a quick cheat sheet with this information, just click here!)

What doctors should I see?

If you’re healthy and have no preexisting conditions, here are the doctors you should see on a regular basis:

  • Primary Care Physician (PCP)
  • Gynecologist (GYN)
  • Dermatologist
  • Eye Doctor
  • Dentist

Not too bad, right?

How do I find these doctors?

Start by trying to find a primary care physician and a dentist.

The best way to do this is to ask some friends who live in the area who they use and then check to see if that doctor is taking new patients and is accepted by your insurance plan. (You can call the office to figure this out).

If you don’t know anyone to ask, start by going to healthgrades.com. (It’s like yelp for finding a doctor). You’ll be able to search for doctors by area of care and location, as well as read reviews written by patients. I recommend looking for doctors with multiple 4-5 star reviews and then calling their offices to see if they are taking new patients and accept your insurance.

Once you find a doctor you like, schedule an appointment and inform your employer.

Follow this same procedure for finding a dentist.

After you meet with your primary care physician, ask him or her to recommend a gynecologist and then schedule an appointment with him or her.

I also suggest that you ask your primary care physician whether you should see a dermatologist and eye doctor. If so, go ahead and ask for recommendations and follow up to schedule these appointments.

No excuses – you can do this!

How often should I see my doctors?

This will vary based off your doctors’ suggestions and your own individual needs, so I suggest you start by asking each doctor when to schedule your next appointment.  Here’s a suggested “bare minimum” schedule for someone who’s healthy:

  • Primary Care Physician: Once a year (this appointment is typically fully covered by most insurances).
  • Gynecologist: Once a year (again, this appointment is typically fully covered by most insurances).
  • Dermatologist: Once a year, or every 2-3 years – ask your PCP what’s right for you.
  • Eye Doctor – Every two years (or more frequently if you have a current prescription).
  • Dentist: Twice a year.

I know going to the doctor isn’t the most fun, but it’s important. You were made to do great things, friend, and you need to take good care of yourself in order to do those things.

Questions? You know I’m here for you! Email me anytime at [email protected] or drop me a DM on Instagram (@katie.haahr) – and don’t forget to grab your quick cheat sheet on how often you should see your doctors right here.  

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