Take Charge of Your Health in 2017: Visiting Your Doctor

Visit Your Doctor

New year, new calendar. It’s time to enter all of those 2017 reminders and important events into your digital devices!

You’ve got birthdays, anniversaries, car inspections… but wait. When was the last time you’ve had a physical?

Easier said than done, right?

As a weight management dietitian, many of my clients say that they avoid going to the doctor for two main reasons:

  • Bias – Their doctor may display instances of weight bias and they feel uncomfortable during visits.
  • Uncertainty – They don’t want to know what’s going on in their bodies because they are fearful it isn’t good.

So, what do we do?

Things to Consider before Visiting the Doctor

We can’t ignore our health, even if we’re waiting for less fortunate providers to understand us. So, if a trip to your current provider sounds worse than waking up during surgery, it may be time to find a healthcare professional who better matches your needs and concerns.

health stethoscopeHere are some things to consider if you’re vetting new providers:

  • Word of Mouth – Word of mouth referrals are always best – take advantage of the positive experiences others have had and use them to create your own.
  • Call the Office in Advance – No matter what form of weight-loss or weight management you may be seeking, ask the receptionist if the provider sees and treats patients considering a variety of different options. Oftentimes, you can sense or gauge both the provider’s openness, sensitivity and potential bias, even after a simple conversation with the receptionist or medical assistant.
  • Make it Profitable – Check online with your insurance company to see if there are any financial rebates for having a physical. I have a small plan in New Hampshire and they offer a $50 cash incentive to get a physical exam.
  • Learn What’s Covered – While you’re online, get the number to call to find out which lab tests, etc. are and are NOT covered by your insurance plan. We don’t want any unexpected expenses.

Now, what if the problem is that you’re just a little scared to see what’s happening with your body, such as blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol?

I get that. No one wants to get bad news. But what if you’re missing good news?

What are the latest treatments for blood pressure? What options are available for blood sugar management these days? And what about the newest treatments in weight medications as well as surgical and non-surgical weight management options?

You just won’t know — if you don’t go.

So, let’s review:

  • Get a doctor that understands weight-related issues and concerns and wants to help you navigate your options.
  • Get yourself in there!

Sending you warm wishes for a fabulous 2017.

Elizabeth Anderson

About the Author:

Elizabeth Anderson is a bariatric dietitian who counsels patients online and
in her office in Exeter, New Hampshire. She finished her Master’s degree in Nutrition Science at Syracuse University lots of years ago. She loves giant white fluffy dogs, pop tarts and her very patient family. 



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