Dr. Kiely's Wellness Checklist
#RealLifeRx: Insight from Chief Medical Officer, Sharon Kiely
Sharon C. Kiely, MD, Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs & Chief Medical Officer
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The truth is, we wouldn’t hesitate to call a doctor when we’re sick. The problem is, when you’re not feeling well, it’s hard to remember details that could help you later. In fact, for a sick visit you may actually need to see someone who is not your usual doctor or care provider. You may have to go to an urgent care center or see another doctor in the office. Or, you may be out of town. So take advantage of the days you’re feeling well and put these tried-and-true ideas into action during a snowy day inside, or anytime.
1. What medications are you taking? Make a list of all of them and the physicians who prescribed them to you and why.
2. Don’t forget your over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements and vitamins. Include the dosage (usually in milligrams) and frequency (how many times per day).
3. Make note of any new allergies or sensitivities to foods, environmental factors (bees, dust mites, etc.) , products and materials. Your reaction, such as itchiness or hives, is important.
4. Have you had any recent surgeries or hospitalizations? Add those to the list, too.
5. What about your family? Has anyone such as your mother, father or siblings developed diabetes, heart disease or any type of cancer? Write it down.
6. Clean out your medicine cabinet and dispose of any expired prescriptions or over-the-counter medications. See the FDA’s guidelines on properly disposing of prescription drugs.
7. Make a list of the preventive care and routine follow-up appointments for the year ahead. These include physicals and any required lab work, cholesterol test and blood pressure measurement, dental cleanings, eye exams, colonoscopy—and for women—gynecologic exams, PAP smears, breast exams and mammograms.
8. Finally, it’s not too late for the flu shot! Even though the reports say its effectiveness is not 100%, having the shot can protect you, your family and others who might not be able to overcome the flu, such as babies and the elderly.
Think of the above as your New Year’s Resolutions to make both routine and “sick” visits easier on yourself. Make a point to do this exercise once a year—you’ll be happy you did.
A Word from Dr. Kiely:
It’s important to remember that the healthcare landscape is always subject to change, and with change, more information emerges. Stay on top of this information and as you do so, let me know if I can help.
About Dr. Kiely
Sharon Cabrina Kiely, MD, has over 30 years of experience caring for patients. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and has spent her career as a leader in medicine in hospitals, the classroom and administrative positions. Read more...