My Turn: Preventive care is important. But our medical system makes it difficult to provide it.
As a primary care physician, I play a vital role: providing care, offering guidance and rocking out.
Seriously — I took one of my patients to the Foo Fighters concert in September. He earned it.
A new grandfather and a musician himself, my patient spends a lot of time on the road and had gotten much heavier than he should be. None of our weight-loss efforts worked — until I made him a bet that if he lost 30 pounds, we’d go to a show. He lost 50 pounds and maintained it. A true milestone for him and a memorable concert for us both.
This musically gifted patient is a baby boomer (adults aged 51 to 69), one of 75 million in the U.S. I provide medical care for him and many more as a physician affiliated with a national network of physicians. We recently conducted a health-focused survey of boomers nationwide, with mixed results.
While 94 percent of boomers believe that preventive care is key to good health, another three out of four also said that they should be doing more to better manage their health. Specifically, a third are not eating healthy and only half are getting regular exercise.
Focusing on prevention and wellness early is important. After 70, most care becomes reactive, managing existing problems. But pay attention to that number, boomers: there’s still time.
Sadly, many aren’t taking action.