When and Why to See Your Doctor – Advice from Michael J. Brown, Esq.

I have always been a big fan of family doctors. It is the family doctor who gives us our flu shots and generally keeps us well. Sometimes it is our family doctor who yells at us when we do not keep our cholesterol or weight where it should be. But it is the family doctor who, if you visit them every three months, know if there is a change in your physical condition before you even say “good morning”. Medicine is not just a science, but also an art form. In order to get the most out of the art, we have to let the artist know what is happening with us.

In many of the medical records, I review I note that the doctor reports “patient states no change in the condition”. They say they are “feeling fine and there are no new complaints”. This is wonderful if you are 25 years old and are there for your yearly wellness visit. However, if you are a diabetic, or a heart patient, or suffering from venous insufficiency, it is important that your doctor knows about how these conditions affect you during the day or week.

Are your legs sore when walking? Do you get leg cramps at night? Are you going to the bathroom more often or in the middle of the night? Do you become short of breath climbing the front steps to your home? Any one of these symptoms may mean nothing. Perhaps you are just “getting older” but it is worth mentioning to your doctor, not only may he/she be able to easily treat the condition if he/she knows about it early, but it also paints a clear picture of your medical history, and provides a more detailed longitude history for your doctors in the future.

So, my medical advice, as a lawyer, is to see your doctor once every three months and to tell him/her what is bothering you.