Team Up with Your Doctor for Better Health at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital
When it comes to your health, your primary care doctor is your quarterback. They have a big-picture view and understanding of your overall health, and they can help you make the right moves to stay healthy.
“A strong relationship with your primary care doctor is key for your health,” said Harika Medi, M.D., internal medicine physician with Houston Methodist Primary Care Group. Building a relationship and partnership with your primary care doctor can help you tackle health problems and stay healthy through the ups and downs of life.
IT’S A TEAM EFFORT
Here are some ways to make the most of your health visits and build a winning relationship with your doctor.
Find a primary care doctor. Look for a doctor who speaks your preferred language and offers convenient appointments in a location near you. Above all, you should choose a doctor you trust who listens and makes you feel comfortable.
Schedule an annual exam. It’s important to schedule an annual checkup even when you feel healthy. Annual checkups make it possible to prevent and detect problems early. “Your doctor may review your plan for managing chronic conditions and recommend screening tests to help you stay healthy,” Medi said.
Identify communication barriers. Resources are available if you or a loved one struggles with hearing, understanding or remembering what is said in your health visits. Bringing a loved one along to your appointment may help you better understand the information shared by your doctor while providing emotional support, if needed. Contact the doctor’s office to let them know if you need help with communication or would like to have a family member or friend join you for your appointment.
Share your health history. Managing your health is easier when you build a relationship with a primary care doctor who knows you and your health history. Your doctor may recommend health screening tests based on your age, personal or family health history, and other factors. “For example, if you have a family history of heart disease, stroke, diabetes or cancer, your doctor may emphasize ways to prevent disease and recommend screening tests to help detect disease early,” Medi said.
Be open and honest. There’s no reason to hold back information because you’re worried or embarrassed. Your primary care doctor is there to support you in improving your health, not to pass judgment on your decisions. The doctor-patient relationship is ironclad in its confidentiality, with many ethical, professional and legal standards that protect it. Having open and honest conversations about your health helps the doctor better serve your health care needs.
Talk about mental health. Your primary care doctor can help with mental health concerns, including screening and treatment for depression and anxiety. Your doctor can also connect you with referrals to therapy, counseling or specialized care.
Ask about vaccines. Your primary care doctor can be a great resource to help you understand which vaccines are recommended for you and when to get them. It’s important to have these conversations with your doctor so you can make informed decisions based on the latest medical guidance.
Set goals for your health. If you want to lose weight, quit smoking or make other healthy changes, your doctor can help you get started. Your chances of success improve when you have medical support for making big changes to your health.
Prioritize your health by making an appointment with a primary care doctor. Convenient appointments are available at a location near you throughout Fort Bend County, including Sugar Land, Sweetwater, Brooks Street, Riverstone, Sienna, Aliana and Rosenberg.