Getting Back Into Care
Mar 03, 2022 Victoria Pelham
Healthcare visits plummeted as the COVID-19 pandemic added layers of disruption and fear to many aspects of normal life. More than 40% of American adults have avoided or delayed medical care during the pandemic, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey.
If you’ve stayed away from the doctor’s office, getting back on top of your health might seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be, says primary care provider Michelle Shukhman, DO.
Don’t Wait Any Longer
Postponing care raises the possibility of missed cancer diagnoses, mistaken self-diagnoses and preventable illnesses.
Start with Your Primary Care Provider
A primary care provider can give you a physical exam and evaluation, refer you to specialists, address unusual symptoms and provide important immunizations and screenings. “There’s even more urgency for people who have chronic illnesses and are taking medications to make sure the medications we’re prescribing are still safe for them to take,” Shukhman says.
Take Care of Screenings Right Away
A survey from the Prevent Cancer Foundation found that 35% of American adults missed scheduled cancer screenings during the pandemic. My CS-Link and most health portals offer a timetable of recommended health exams as well as automatic reminders for patients.
Consider Video Visits
If you need a health assessment on demand, Cedars-Sinai offers existing patients a Video Visit Now service. Patients can access virtual visits with a healthcare provider in lieu of in-person urgent care. “Online options like video visits might make it easier to get questions answered quickly,” Shukhman says.
There’s No Reason to Fear
If you’ve avoided the doctor, an evaluation might cause you some anxiety. Remember that your doctor is here to help. “It’s just so important to come in, face what’s going on and get back on track,” Shukhman says.