Guest opinion: Celebrating the doctors that keep us healthy, living longer

Throughout the pandemic, it’s been encouraging to see the community praise all health…

Guest opinion: Celebrating the doctors that keep us healthy, living longer 1
Guest opinion: Celebrating the doctors that keep us healthy, living longer 2

National Doctors Day is Tuesday, March 30. It’s traditionally a time when those within the health care community will recognize the physicians on their team. However, the holiday isn’t largely celebrated outside of hospitals, clinics and medical offices.

After the past year, though, the entire nation – the world, for that matter – should honor those who keep us healthy and living longer.

Doctors sacrifice a large part of their 20s for college, medical school and their residencies. They often go deep into debt to pay for their training. They work long hours and weekends, understanding there is no such thing as being “off duty.” The field of medicine is constantly evolving, so doctors must continuously study new research, innovations and trends.

Throughout the pandemic, it’s been encouraging to see the community praise all health care workers. Doctors and nurses certainly deserve credit, along with physician assistants, paramedics, nursing assistants, radiology techs, billing clerks and others. The medical community works together to ensure our entire community is healthy and safe.

All doctors, myself included, appreciate a simple “thank you” from patients, but praise isn’t our goal. We want patients to be healthy. In honor of National Doctors Day, I would love to see everyone make these three commitments going forward:


  • Follow-up: Many individuals see a doctor if they’re in pain or sick. Patients may need to undergo surgery, take prescription medication or see a physical therapist. When they’re done with the required treatment, though, few patients reconnect with their doctors. We assume you’re OK, but never know for sure. It’s important to know that your condition has improved, but we also use that information to help guide our recommendations for future patients.
  • Keep annual visits: Health insurance companies cover annual visits to primary care physicians and dentists because early detection and prevention are keys to good health. It’s also important to visit an OBGYN or urologist, dermatologist, optometrist, otolaryngologist and physical therapist at least once a year. Just because you “feel” fine doesn’t mean you have a clean bill of health. Our bodies are like vehicles – we run through potholes, over speedbumps and constantly speed up and slow down. After a while, it begins to take a toll. A good mechanic, or doctor, can diagnose issues under the hood.
  • Treat yourself right: Continuing with the vehicle analogy, it’s hard to drive a million miles without getting some dents and scratches. We also can’t expect to go through life without getting a few dings on our bodies. It’s important to prioritize physical fitness, which includes strength and endurance exercises. It’s equally important to eat healthy foods like vegetables, lean meats and fruits, and avoid junk food and saturated fats. A third component is a healthy lifestyle, which includes getting ample sleep, not smoking and managing stress levels.

Dr. Chris Mulvey, PT, is president for company clinics at FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers, which has more than 400 locations in 45 states. For more information, please visit FYZICAL.com.

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