You’ve already posted the quote across your social media accounts: "New year, new me." You’ve committed to Dryuary, to #Whole30January, and you’ve already claimed your bike for SoulCycle. While this regimen will help you look and feel better, you’re missing some crucial pieces from your wellness (paleo) pie.
In order to know what’s happening beyond your athleisure, here is a list of the doctors you should see in 2018 and every year to make sure you’re taking care of yourself both inside and out.
Yes, that means a trip to the dentist. Dr. Casey Chow of Bella Smiles says regular dental checkups are a must for more reasons than most people realize.
"Seeing a dentist regularly will help detect tooth decay and gum-related issues early, which allows for less invasive treatment and in turn less expensive treatment (like simple fillings), but regular visits can also detect gum disease, which is associated with heart disease and stroke and oral cancers," he explains.
Next up on your to-do list should be a visit to your dermatologist. Dr. Alan J. Parks, founder of DermWarehouse, says it's a good idea to see a dermatologist on a yearly basis for a skin check.
"One reason that skin cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer is because it can be the most easily recognizable," he explains. He recommends doing self-checks of all your freckles and moles on a monthly basis, and if you see any spots or moles that look out of the ordinary, be sure to make an appointment to see your dermatologist right away.
"Some people may need to be seen more often if there is a personal or family history of skin cancer or melanoma or if they have a history of multiple precancerous lesions or extensive sun damage,” he adds.
This one is a no-brainer for people with vaginas. “Even though a woman may be on an every-one-to-three-year interval to get a Pap smear, seeing the gynecologist annually is important for a woman’s overall health and wellness," says Dr. Sherry Ross, an OB-GYN.
For many women, the gynecologist is often the only doctor they see annually, making it a time to discuss things like testing for sexually transmitted infections, period irregularities, family planning or sexual dysfunction, as well as more general medical issues like depression, anxiety or domestic violence.
Dr. Nieca Goldberg is a medical director at NYU Langone Health and understands that while most women always remember to schedule a yearly exam with their OB-GYN, they must also remember to pay a visit to their primary care physician.
“It is important to have a primary care doctor who specializes in internal medicine, family medicine or a nurse practitioner to take care of your overall health," she explains. "They will be able to assess your risk for conditions such as heart disease and diabetes [and keep up with] your vaccinations, and it’s always good to have someone when you have an unexpected cold or sore throat.”
This last appointment may not be on your must-do list, but it should be. 2017 was quite the year, leaving many of us exhausted both mentally and physically. Dr. Kevin Gilliland, the executive director of Innovation 360, recommends adding a mental health professional to your calendar.
"Our health is broad-based," he says. "When we eat right and are active, our mental health improves; they’re connected. So, why all the blood work and physical exams, but nothing for our mental health? Find a therapist and meet with them once or twice so they get to know you."
Let the mental health professional know you're there for a mental check up and talk about whatever's on your mind, including anxiety, mood and how you use substances, which, Gilliland says are some of our most common struggles.
Now, grab your phone or log in to Zocdoc and start scheduling!
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