Belinda Dure-Smith, M.D.
Board-Certified Internal Medicine
Arch Health Partners
"My husband puts off going to the doctor for routine physical exams. How can I encourage him to take charge of his health?"
Answer: You are right to be concerned, even if your husband is very fit. It might be helpful to suggest that he develop a game plan for personal health maintenance just like he does for his car. This plan includes establishing a medical home with a primary care physician who will evaluate your husband’s current health status, discuss family medical history, and conduct a range of diagnostic tests that will provide valuable baseline information.
This becomes the platform for an action plan to sustain long-term wellness. For example, the physician may prescribe certain medications to treat chronic illness, recommend preventive health screenings, provide information about nutrition and exercise, and assure that your husband is current on recommended immunizations. Your husband can then take charge of following up on recommended tests and tracking his numbers for blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass index. If they become elevated, he should consult with his physician to develop a specific plan to reduce them.
Remind your husband that it will be much easier to have any worrisome symptoms checked if he already has an established relationship with a physician he knows and trusts.
The Men’s Health Network provides a downloadable maintenance schedule for men as a reminder of your need to take responsibility for safeguarding your health. Regular checkups and age-appropriate screenings CAN improve your health and reduce premature death and disability. You should consult your health care provider about the benefits of earlier screenings, especially if you are a member of a high risk group or have a family history of disease. Click here to download the schedule.