The Mayo Clinic reveals the top reasons for health care provider visits:
- Skin disorders: acne/cysts/rash
- Osteoarthritis, joint disorders, and back pain
- Cardiovascular problems such as high cholesterol, stroke
- Upper respiratory conditions: cough, sore throat, ear problems
- Anxiety, Depression
- High blood pressure
- Headaches, migraine, and other neurological conditions
That’s what the research tell us. If I had kept tabs on the thousands of people I have seen over the years, my list would look more like this:
- 6 month and annual check up: AKA you have to come in to get a prescription refilled.
- Respiratory: cough, cold, ear ache, allergies (or can I have an antibiotic)
- Back pain
- Hypertension management: usually smoking and obesity related health issues
- Routine health maintenance: vaccinations, women’s care, sports, and work physicals
- Other: I would include depression and anxiety here. Rarely did I see patients calling in with depression as a chief complaint. It was something else that brought them in (joint pain, stomach problems, sleep issues), and through talking it was obvious clinical depression was the root cause.
And then there were the surprises that made for a challenging day: thoracic outlet syndrome, lacerations, shingles, really big hemorrhoids, genital warts, foreign body in ear or other body openings (always very interesting), mono, deep vein thrombosis, melanoma, scabies, lice. Why did I always start to itch after seeing a kid with lice?
As much as you hate the automated phone tree, co-pays, wait time, and general inconvenience of going to the doctor, don’t neglect your health. If you take good care of it will repay you in kind.