Proactive verses reactive appears to be a popular dichotomy throughout the healthcare industry. With the cost of insurance increasing across the board and the price of healthcare procedures matching that trend, taking responsibility for one’s physical and fiscal health can be quite the dilemma.
The annual physical exam is one example of a proactive approach to managing one’s physical health that exemplifies this dichotomy. In light of this, we asked our readers in a recent poll if, and when, they choose to visit their primary care physician:
Question: Do you get an annual physical exam by your physician?
- Yes, I make sure to go every year on time. – 59%
- Sometimes. I make sure to get a physical every few years. – 24%
- No. I will go to the doctor only if I am feeling ill. – 18%
It seems there are clear positions that support each perspective in the debate.
First, some physicians argue that the proactive annual physical is a “must,” regardless of a patient’s current health status as a means to care for the whole patient, not simply ailments. These physicals act as a diagnostic screening, just in case something is not right and needs to be treated.
On the other hand, some patients and physicians share the opinion that annual physicals are not necessary and a waste of both money and time. Moreover, the annual physical exam may take time from patients in a real need of attention, and attending to the patients in need is the fundamental responsibility of a healthcare provider.
What do you think? Is it more important to be proactive or reactive regarding one’s healthcare decisions?
If there is a poll topic you think would be appropriate or interesting, please send it to info@HL7Standards.com.