How Often Should You See a Doctor

When was the last time you saw a doctor? If you are like most people, it’s been too long. Even if you are “healthy” and have “nothing wrong” with you, it is wise even when young to have a yearly checkup.

Bad-nasties have a way of sneaking up on you, and with some of these things a span of two or three years can be the difference between beating cancer, and, well, not.

Proper diet and exercise play a large role in our health, but genetics may “over rule” these efforts. If you have a family history of any of the multitudes of cancers, high blood pressure, sleep disorders, allergies, or any of a whole list of health issues, yearly physicals may detect them early, and early detection is vital for your health and safety.

The national average for visits to doctors is actually around four times per year. That doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone sees a doctor four times a year though. Babies are seen by doctors an average of 9 times a year, while kids from five to fifteen years of age average only just over 2 times yearly. Uninsured persons visit doctors less often by about half when compared to persons with private insurance.

Some people will only go see a doctor when they have an emergency and go to the emergency room, and studies have shown that the poor or uninsured often go for extended periods without needed care. This is unfortunate as in many cases early detection can save lives.

If someone has a stroke caused by a blockage, that could well have been prevented had they had a check up and were found to have high cholesterol and had been taking the proper medications.

High blood pressure is another killer that can be easily remedied with drugs such as ACE inhibitors that if left untreated can cause heart attack and stroke. Persons that smoke, drink, overeat, or don’t exercise are at higher risk than people that try to maintain a healthy lifestyle and so should visit the doctor more frequently. Of course stopping the bad habits and increasing the good will lessen the risk of health issues.

After infants, persons with health conditions have the greatest need to visit the doctor. Patients with high blood pressure may see a doctor four to six times a year to be checked and have medications refilled or adjusted.

Patients with conditions such as chronic pain from injuries may visit their doctor six to twelve times a year. Pregnant women will need to see a doctor from every four or five weeks to weekly, depending on the term of pregnancy.

Patients with more serious conditions such as cancer patients may need to see a doctor every few weeks during chemotherapy. Patients undergoing dialysis treatments may need to see a doctor, a Nephrologist, several times a week for treatment.

The question of how often one should see a doctor does not have a simple one-size-fits-all answer. The short answer is at least once a year for an annual checkup just to make sure nothing is going on with you that may need attention. Below is also a break down based on Doctor and reason for calling on the Doctor.


Most healthy women should still plan to see their OB/GYN every year. “Plan annual well-woman visits with your ob-gyn or health care provider for general physical and mental wellness,” says Dr. Ross. “Women who are sexually active should be screened yearly for sexually transmitted infections including chlamydia and gonorrhea.”

Dr. Ross recommends receiving a pap smear and HPV test every three years as long as the results are normal. These tests screen for cervical cancer, so following your doctor’s recommended schedule will ensure that you can address any abnormal results or precancerous cells early.

To screen for breast cancer, begin mammograms every one to two years beginning at age 40. By the way, here is a find-a-doctor page.

Eye doctor:

Ask your primary doctor if a visit to the eye doctor is necessary for you. “I usually recommend that patients see an eye doctor regularly if they have an underlying condition, like diabetes, that increases their risk of problems,” says Dr. Doggett.

If they are having visual changes, usually the primary care doctor can do some initial testing and refer as appropriate.” If you already use glasses or contacts, plan to see your optometrist every one to two years to keep your prescription current.


According to the American Dental Association, adults should visit their dentist every six months for cleanings and checkups. “This is due to the speed at which dental problems tend to present and how quickly hardened plaque—called calculus or tartar—can begin to cause gum issues,” says Greg Grobmyer, a dentist at Authority Dental.

At your visit, expect to receive x-rays once per year to screen for bone loss and early cavities.

Your dentist will also provide a yearly oral cancer exam by checking your mouth, throat, and under your tongue. Dr. Grobmyer explains that while the twice-yearly schedule is appropriate for most adults, people with periodontal problems or compromised immune systems should be seen more frequently.…

Why Do You Want to Be a Journalist?

The media industry is a bit of an anomaly when it comes to ambition. Jobs in the media are highly coveted. It isn’t too difficult to see why: journalism and other media jobs can provide opportunities to travel, to meet fascinating people, to do some social good or to write about what interests you.

It is very competitive. There are so many budding writers and journalists in the UK who have to take on placement after placement of unpaid work experience and do countless internships before landing their first job. They are often required to do expensive postgraduate courses and pass expensive industry-accredited exams before they are taken seriously.

They must write blogs, keep up with current affairs, write well , fast and accurately, interview well, read voraciously, develop contacts, learn multimedia and design skills, develop a social media presence, work long hours and get on well with all kinds of people. Cultivating that kind of a skill set requires serious hard work, and serious ambition.

But many people view ambition as the desire and act of striving towards success – be that riches, fame or achievement. And this is where many jobs in the media, and particularly in journalism, become a little less desirable. For one thing, it is quite possibly one of the hardest industries to break into that pays so little.

According to the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), the average starting salary for a job in reporting is about £15,000. This can drop as low as £12,000 for jobs on local or regional newspapers. The UK is incredibly London-centric and a majority of the country’s national newspapers, magazines and TV outlets are based in the capital, which happens to be one of the most expensive places to live, particularly on a trainee journalist’s salary. And particularly when faced with debts from both undergraduate and postgraduate education.

A job in the media is also far from secure. Just take a look at some of the headlines on the Guardian’s ‘media downturn’ webpage “Trinity Mirror to cut up to 74 jobs at national titles”; “150 jobs to go at IPC media”; “3,000 jobs go at Thomas Reuters”; “Reader’s Digest parent seeks bankruptcy protection”. It’s pretty harrowing stuff. The Guardian’s interactive map of job cuts in the media industry demonstrates that few media outlets across the country have managed to ride out the recession unscathed.

As many people will have picked up on, economic troubles are hitting newspapers hardest of all the media outlets. The advent of the internet has made newspapers largely redundant as a primary source of news (though I would argue they could still have a significant role to play). Circulation has been falling year on year for almost every national paper.

The Independent lost a massive 46% of its sales between 2011 and 2012 (though perhaps that is mainly due to the success of its cheaper, snappier sister paper ‘i’). Sales figures for the Financial Times dropped by 16% over the same period, and for the Guardian by 15%.

In fact, the Press Gazette’s analysis of newspaper sales is as follows: “Looking at the sales averages for 2012 as a whole, the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror were among the best-performing titles in relative terms, keeping their print sales declines to 6 per cent and 6.6 per cent respectively.” It seems to me a little depressing to measure performance by the standard of who is the best loser.

So for the most part riches are off the cards for those entering the journalism profession, especially in newspapers. And fame? By its very nature the media industry feeds off fame, it gives fame a platform but it rarely produces fame from within its own staff. In fact few journalists receive due respect from the public, let alone stardom. Since the phone hacking saga erupted and Lord Justice Leveson levelled criticisms at UK newspapers, eventually deciding they needed a state-backed regulator, public trust in the media has plummeted. And then there was the BBC and Jimmy Savile.

A Yougov poll conducted in 2011 found that 58% of people lost trust in the newspaper industry after the phone hacking scandal broke, while 51% were more mistrustful of the entire UK media. Three quarters of the population think that UK media outlets lie to their audiences and 55% think content in the UK media has been dumbed down in recent years. Journalism as a profession is down there with estate agents, bankers and politicians in terms of public disdain.

So an ambition to break into the media industry often entails hard work, instability, a lack of respect, a lot of stress, long hours and low pay. Why have such an ambition? David Randall, foreign editor of the Independent on Sunday, provides a long list of reasons in his book ‘The Universal Journalist’ (p.3). They include:

  • To “provide a voice for those who cannot normally be heard in public”.
  • To “hold up a mirror to society, reflecting its virtues and vices and also debunking its cherished myths”.
  • To “ensure that justice is done, is seen to be done and investigations carried out where this is not so”.
  • To “promote the free exchange of ideas, especially by providing a platform for those with philosophies alternative to the prevailing ones.”

He adds: “If you can read that list without the hairs on the back of your neck beginning to stand up, then maybe journalism is not for you.” Few people do media for the money. The media industry has many vices, but it is extremely valuable to society. If there were fewer people willing to accept low pay and long hours for little tangible reward our media would suffer even more, and so would democracy.…