4 reasons to see your doctor now

Don't pass on regular visits to a provider without considering these important facts.

young woman doctor talking to patient

Updated on March 28, 2024.

There are plenty of reasons to see a healthcare provider (HCP), including some of the obvious ones. If you're having severe symptoms—say, you're coughing up blood, you have the worst headache of your life (which could be a sign of a stroke), or your partner ran over your foot with the car—its important to get medical care right away.

But there other important reasons to see an HCP, even when you don't see glaring signs of an illness or injury. Maintaining overall health and trying to spot small issues before they become big ones are the hallmarks of preventive health—and the keys to long-term wellness.

Remember you're (probably) not a medical professional

Watching medical shows on TV doesn’t make you an expert in medicine. Searching up health complaints on the internet may help you become more informed. But it won’t get you a definitive diagnosis or the right treatment plan. There’s a reason it takes years of education and training to become a nurse, physician, or other HCP.

You can’t feel every problem

You can’t feel if your blood pressure or cholesterol levels are too high. You can’t feel you have diabetes if you’re not having symptoms, and many people in the early stages don’t. You can’t feel if a medication—maybe even an over-the-counter one—is slowly damaging your liver. In each of these cases, the sooner you get examined by a professional, the sooner you can get treatment. 

Symptoms show up where you’re not looking

Did you know that ophthalmologists (medical doctors who specialize in eye care) are often the first HCPs to detect diabetes? Did you know that skin cancer can appear between your toes or underneath your fingernails? That herpes can appear in strange places, like your nose? An HCP knows where to look and what to look for.

Someday, when you least expect it, you might need medical attention

And if it does, having a relationship with an HCP you know and trust can be a big help. Being comfortable with your HCP also makes it easier to talk about those embarrassing symptoms—like problems in the bathroom or bedroom—that might be nothing or that might signal a serious health problem.

If you can’t remember that last time you saw an HCP, you’re probably due. Don’t have an HCP? Seek out referrals from friends and loved ones or contact your insurance provider for recommendations in your area. Don’t like your current HCP? Find a new one. Having a regular resource for your health issues and questions can help pave the way to better wellness and longevity. 

More On

Should we worry about the privacy of data with biomedical sensors?

video

Should we worry about the privacy of data with biomedical sensors?
In healthcare data, privacy is important to get participation from patients and institutions. In this video, HealthMaker Robert McCray, president and ...
Getting Your Medical Record Is a Cinch

article

Getting Your Medical Record Is a Cinch
Change happens all the time -- in the medical profession and in your own life. Perhaps a great job opportunity requires a cross-country move. Or maybe...
6 Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget

slideshow

6 Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget
Use these tips to shop smart and save on healthy foods.
How do physicians manage all the data produced by biomedical sensors?

video

How do physicians manage all the data produced by biomedical sensors?
Physicians can't be involved with patient data 24/7, says HealthMaker Robert McCray, president and CEO of Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance. In this vid...
Why medical education needs to include the BIPOC community

video

Why medical education needs to include the BIPOC community
This video touches on broadening perspectives in order to work towards a more equitable and inclusive healthcare system that meets the needs of all in...