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Three reasons to see your doctor now

You aren't alone if you’ve been nervous about visiting a doctor’s office. But don’t let anxiety keep you from getting the care you need.

At Piedmont, rigorous safety measures are in place to protect patients and staff. Both clinics and hospitals are enforcing new rules.

“We’re taking so many precautions at the office,” says Piedmont family medicine physician Rashi Patel Kanjira, M.D. “We’re not easing out of any of the safety protocols,” even if COVID-19 numbers begin to decrease again.  

At primary care offices, safety measures include:

  • Screening patients and staff for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Requiring all staff to wear personal protective equipment. Patients are also required to wear face masks or coverings, brought from home to their in-person visit.
  • Limiting the number of people permitted in shared spaces.
  • Prohibiting visitors unless a family member or caregiver is essential.
  • Asking patients to wait in their cars until they receive a call or text to enter the office.

If you can’t or don’t want to visit an office in person, virtual visits are available as well. No matter how you prefer to get care, though, Dr. Patel Kanjira points out that seeing a doctor is still important.

Emergency issues always require immediate treatment. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should book a virtual visit with a Piedmont Urgent Care provider to be screened.

But other issues need timely treatment, too. Dr. Patel Kanjira explains what to pay attention to and when to seek treatment.

1. Preventive care

Just because you aren’t feeling sick doesn’t mean you should avoid the doctor. Everyone still needs preventive care like an annual physical, says Dr. Patel Kanjira.

“It’s so important to do your physical, particularly if you haven’t seen your doctor in the last six months,” she adds.  

When you get a physical, your doctor will assess your overall health. They’ll look for early signs of problems, helping you develop a long-term plan tailored to your needs.

If you don’t have your own primary care physician yet, Dr. Patel Kanjira adds, consider finding one soon. After all, it’s important to build a relationship with a doctor who knows your history.

“It’s a great time to establish one, just in case you do get ill,” she says.

Staying healthy requires more just annual physicals. Talk to your doctor about whether you’re due for a colonoscopy, mammogram or other preventive procedures.

2. Chronic health issues

When you’re managing long-term health issues, staying in touch with your care team is always important.

But because chronic health problems are linked to more severe cases of COVID-19, it’s crucial to keep them in check right now and pay attention to your body.

Dr. Patel Kanjira recommends you talk to your doctor or book an appointment soon if you have:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • A history of lung illness, like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

“You really don’t want to put those sorts of chronic conditions on the back burner,” she says.

3. Mental health

Don’t neglect problems with anxiety, depression, or other mental issues either – especially these days.

“During a time like this, you might be feeling really overwhelmed and anxious,” Dr. Patel Kanjira says. A doctor can help you develop a treatment or management plan to keep these issues at bay.

Mental and emotional well-being are key to your health, and they have more repercussions than you may know.

“It can affect your whole body in so many different ways,” Dr. Patel Kanjira explains. By monitoring your mental health and practicing self-care, you’ll set yourself up for overall wellness.

Need to schedule an appointment? Book online now, and talk to your doctor about whether you’re due for a colonoscopy, mammogram or other preventive procedure.

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