What to Expect at Your Primary Care Visit
Ashley Jowett
/ Categories: WELLNESS, 2022

What to Expect at Your Primary Care Visit

Many people have put off primary care visits during the pandemic. While this may have seemed wise at the height of COVID spread, delaying primary care appointments can have lasting consequences. Here’s what you can expect when you come back to the office. 

It is safe. Doctors, advanced practice practitioners, nurses, staff, and patients at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center’s practices are still masked, distanced, and disinfected. The risk of contracting COVID at a primary care or specialty practice office is exceptionally low. In fact, we have not had even a single transmission since the pandemic began. 

We are going to get caught up on your health status.  We are going to want to know all of the health-related happenings and significant life events since we saw you last, including any changes to your family history. We will also conduct a check-up that includes listening to your heart and lungs, checking your reflexes, and reviewing your blood pressure and any recent lab work.

We are going to make recommendations. If you are due for an important screening—like a mammogram or colonoscopy—we will let you know and even help you get the appropriate appointments scheduled. If you need a vaccine, we can likely provide it right there. Be honest with your doctor or advanced practice practitioner about your needs, including food, transportation, or other basic needs. We can recommend ways to get the things you need to live healthier.

If you have a chronic condition, we will evaluate how it’s going. Chronic conditions can be very challenging, but we are here to answer your questions and help coordinate any care you need from professionals outside our office. We are right with you, every step of the way.

An evaluation of your risks. We will also review your risk factors and share opportunities for improving your health. We might make recommendations to staff members in our office, like the registered dietitian or diabetes educator, or other professionals who can help.

Regardless of your current health condition, checking in with your doctor or advance practice practitioner feels great. It is a way to take stock of your current health status and make a start fresh towards your health goals.

Shellie Burdick, DO, is a family medicine physician at SVMC Pownal Campus, part of Southwestern Vermont Medical Center and Southwestern Vermont Health Care in Bennington.

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