The importance of preventive care among minorities
Maintaining routine visits and preventive care is important, especially among minority groups that have historically faced greater obstacles to preventing and treating illnesses, leading to higher morbidity and mortality rates. Sara Henriques, MD, explained why.
“Minority groups are at a higher risk for many conditions, including diabetes, hypertension and heart disease,” said Dr. Henriques. “Diet, health literacy, trust and access are all driving forces behind them being at increased risk, but so is lack of preventive care. Many conditions can be treated if they are caught early, and your annual visit is a great time for your provider to offer guidance that can help prevent or reduce your risk for disease.”
For those who are looking to establish or strengthen their relationship with a doctor, Dr. Henriques offered these tips.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It can be hard to speak up during a doctor’s visit, but if you don’t understand the complicated medical terminology or are confused about your diagnosis, ask your doctor to clarify or explain in a different way. Read your own reports, do your own research and feel empowered to take charge of your health. If your doctor gives you a care plan, make sure you understand what is required of you and that you have contact information for any follow up visits before you leave the office. If you realize you have questions once you get home, feel free to give the office a call and get clarification.
- Share your personal testimonies with those around you. Often, our behaviors are inherited. If your elders had to decide between buying groceries or visiting the doctor, they likely didn’t prioritize check-ups and that behavior may have been passed down to you. We take advice from those we trust, so encourage those around you to maintain a relationship with a doctor, but also be aware of the information you share with others. If someone’s only source for information is social media or others around them who are not healthcare professionals, they might not receive the medical advice or treatment they need.
- Feel free to switch doctors. A relationship with a doctor is one of the most important as they are responsible for some of the most serious aspects of your life. Don’t be afraid to tell your doctor about any issues you are experiencing. If you feel like the issues are not being resolved, that your doctor is not listening to you, or if you feel uncomfortable for any reason, trust your feelings and find a new care provider. Don’t let one frustrating visit prevent you from maintaining your care.
Find the care you need, close to home.
Our primary care physicians provide well visits and everyday care when you need it with compassion and expertise.Find Primary Care Near You