Time for a regular checkup? Here’s what doctors say you should ask about

Dr. Tara Kiran speaks with CBC White Coat, Black Art’s podcast The Dose

Listen to the podcast episode here.

The pandemic interrupted routines for health, work and family — including regular checkups.

So if you haven’t been to see your family doctor since before March 2020, now may be the time. 

“There’s a lot of diseases still going on,” Dr. Peter Lin, a Toronto-based family doctor and a director at the Canadian Heart Research Centre, told CBC podcast The Dose.

“If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, all of those things need some fine-tuning.”

Those who have a chronic illness or new pain should see their health-care provider right away, he said.

And if you’re overdue for an age-related cancer screening test, like a Pap smear, colonoscopy or a mammogram, get in touch with your family doctor.

If you’re unsure whether you need a checkup, several physicians told The Dose about what to consider before making an appointment. 

Who should book an appointment?

Contrary to its name, an annual checkup isn’t something most people need every year, said Dr. Tara Kiran, a family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital.

“That’s a little bit of a misnomer.”

Instead, most practitioners and their staff look at several factors before seeing someone. 

“What we do is really try and target preventive care based on people’s health history and their age, sex and the [medical] history of their family,” said Kiran, who is also the Fidani Chair for improvement and innovation at University of Toronto’s department of family and community medicine.

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