The Annual Visit to the Doctor: The Sacred Tradition
Each year, about 200,000 Americans will visit a doctor, even though they have absolutely no symptoms. There is no standardized procedure for the annual health exam. Some doctors limit themselves to a brief interview and a traditional iconic once-over with the stethoscope. Others add-on some useful, or at least probably useful, preventive health procedures like mammograms, cholesterol checks, and prostate-specific antigen tests. Many other doctors order a series of laboratory tests that are completely unnecessary and often counterproductive in healthy adults, like a complete blood count, urinalysis, or even worse testosterone levels in men.
There are two kinds of arguments against the adult annual health checkup. The first has to do with our health care system overall, and the second has to do with you personally.
Annual checkups account for more than 8 percent of doctor visits and cost the health care system over $8 billion annually. Each visit takes around 20-25 minutes, which means doctors in the United States spend approximately 17 million hours each year running their stethoscopes over 45 million completely healthy people.
It’s important to separate preventive care from annual checkups. Only one-half of annual checkups actually include a preventive health procedure such as a mammogram, cholesterol testing, or a check for prostate cancer. We are excluding annual gynecological visits from these numbers, although the evidence supporting those is not particularly great either. More importantly, only 20 percent of the preventive health services provided in the United States are delivered at annual checkups.
But, here’s the deal: Very few preventive health screenings are required every year, or even every two years. Even if you go years without seeing a doctor—which is not a bad thing—you can get those services (screenings for various diseases or counseling on smoking cessation or weight loss, for example) without wasting your time at an annual checkup.
Okay, you’re reading this and asking yourself, wtf, you’re trying to get me to come to your clinic to actually get an annual exam, right?
Yes, I am. I want you to come to Innovative Express Care and get checked out. But, I want to let you know what we’re about. We won’t do crazy tests on you. We want to personalize your check-up. We also want to give you up-front costs. Lastly, we even want patients who have NO insurance to come and see us for a VERY low rate.
If I gave you all the reasons above telling you why it’s not important to see a doctor, then why is it important?
Because you WILL need a doctor in the future.
Studies show even young, healthy people, between the ages of 22-40 “get sick” –whatever that means- an average of 2.4 times a year. You may need antibiotics for a sinusitis, a UTI, perhaps a minor case of depression, insomnia, sprained ankle, etc. You get the idea. Bad things happen, you will get sick, and you need that person, that doctor who can take time with you, examine you, order the appropriate test, and give you the right treatment. And you need it done QUICKLY! You don’t have time to wait 2 days to see your doctor.
That’s where Innovative Express Care comes in. Once you have established care with us, we already know you. We have an x-ray on site with dedicated radiologist who reads the films within 8 minutes!
We run most common labs in-house within 10 minutes, and even better, when you get that sinusitis, we have the antibiotics and sell them to you for $15 or less! Seriously, what we created here goes beyond Walgreen’s Take Care Clinic or CVS’ Minute Clinic.
So, here’s the bottom line. We are a certain “hookup” for certain issues we all get. I like to say, I “have a person” for my car, my hair, my Cubs ticket addiction, or last second dinner reservations. Why don’t you “have a person” for your healthcare?
So let’s get this started: Book an appointment to get a check-up and more importantly, get into our system so that we can take care of you in the future, work on your health goals, and discuss things you don’t want to talk to your mother about. That’s who we are.
This is what we offer.
Annual check-ups include:
- Electrolytes, Hemoglobin, Glucose, and Cholesterol checkup (all done in-house) – all important screening labs
- A complete history and physical exam (note: stethoscope)
- Any refill of medications
- A discussion about your health goals
- Any referrals to other specialists as needed (we’ll even make the appointments for you)
If you have insurance, perfect. Let’s use it. If you do not, this will blow your mind, all of this will cost you $99. Here’s the fine print: If you need special labs to be sent out to a laboratory, we charge $15 per test (it’s still a pretty good deal). For example, If you have a history of a thyroid issue, we’ll send off the appropriate test for an extra $15. The other exception is if you need a Pap Smear: this will be $50. But that’s the only fine print. Most patients don’t need this. You pay for these up front, we tell you why you need them, and there’s no surprise bill in the future.
After the visit, you now have a primary care doctor. You have a “hook-up” in healthcare. Here’s another cool thing, you can message us via our portal, anytime. We try and get back to you within 15 minutes. We take your healthcare needs extremely seriously, and we would love to show you why we’re better than all other clinics in Chicago.
Give us a chance: Book an Appointment
Honestly, it’s always best to have that one person who can help you navigate the crazy healthcare system. We want to be that person. I think you’ll like what we have created. It’s all in the name: Innovative Express Care.