Good health from A to Z from your family physician
See your family doc before you’re sick
“Seeing a doctor when you’re well is one of the smartest things you can do for your health,” says Tom Marzili, MD, Virtua family practice physician. “We look beneath the surface to the silent issues that don’t always cause symptoms.”
Tell your family’s health story
“It’s never too late to tell me about your family history, so we can talk about risk factors and preventative measures,” says Michelle Kane, DO, Virtua family practice physician.
These include annual tests and screenings to help identify and control issues before they become serious.
At age 30, get a baseline
Dr. Kane recommends patients get basic blood work to check blood sugar, cholesterol, kidney and liver function and thyroid levels. “It’s important to get a baseline of health so we know where to start.” Along with these, the doctor looks at your teeth and eyes, “good indicators of your overall health,” says Dr. Kane.
Women should get their baseline mammogram between ages 35 and 40 and continue with their yearly pap exams. At the same age, men need a prostate specific antigen test, as well as a rectal exam. And, at 50, most men and women should get a colonoscopy.
“Surprisingly, your height also can be an indication of health, so it’s smart to check your height year to year to help identify potential health issues like osteoporosis,” says Dr. Kane.
“Most women are familiar with getting a bone scan as they enter menopause, but the test isn’t as obvious for men,” says Dr. Kane. “If I see that from visit to visit you are getting shorter, we can act and treat the issue.”
Doctor first, Google second
Dr. Marzili tells patients, before they jump online to Google symptoms, to see the doctor first. “The internet is a great tool to research conditions – once diagnosed,” he says. But your physician can see things you may not be able to see … like diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.
Dr. Marzili: “We’re trained to see the big picture and look for cues that an in-office visit can show us. We can tell when something is normal versus a
cause for concern.”
Coordinating the whole picture
A primary care doctor is like your team quarterback. “We can help coordinate tests and specialists’ visits, and we manage the results of your tests and visits,” says Dr. Marzili.
Want help scheduling your family's doctor appointments?
One call to a Virtua Personal Health Navigator does it all. Manage appointments, schedule lab tests and find reliable health resources. Just call 1-888-VIRTUA-3.