Hello, adults! And welcome to The Holiday Season, during which all your relatives will feel very free to question your life choices and adult competence. How to prove that you actually do have it together? A great place to start would be with a visit to your primary care doctor.
Sounds lame, but I can tell you — as a young person AND a doctor — that it's actually a really good idea. Here why it's worth your time to see your primary care doctor (or find one, if you don't have one) for an annual physical before the end of the year (a.k.a. your annual flexible spending deadline).
1. Your doctor wants to help you, not judge you.
2. They can actually help you change those unhealthy habits you've been meaning to fix.
3. You can’t always tell when you have health issues that need to be addressed.
4. Your doctor knows what to look for, while you...probably don't.
5. It’s ALWAYS better to catch something early.
6. You might find out something important for another family member.
7. If a doctor knows you when you’re healthy, then she’ll be able to tell when you’re sick.
8. It’s smart to invest in your health while you’re healthy.
9. Unlike your friends, we never get bored of listening to your problems.
10. You need vaccines. Seriously.
11. And remember: Your annual physical exam is probably free (or almost free!).
Dr. Joanna Loewenstein is an internist and instructor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. You can follow her on twitter at @doctorjoannalo.