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Thoughts on Engaging with your Healthcare Team

If you were born after 1979 you probably don’t know who the first “10” was.  It was Bo Derek in the movie 10, and in the movie she was beautiful, thin and fairly perfect on the outside.  Actually, don’t ask yourself if you are a 10 from that perspective, but if you were to rate your health on a scale of 1-10, are you a 10?

A 10 for health would probably mean that you are not overweight, exercise daily, eat healthy, don’t smoke, don’t use alcohol excessively, eat dinner with your family regularly, sleep 7-8 hours a night and have an annual physical.

Most of us are not a 10 on the health scale, and statistics say that half of us are overweight or obese.  We have all heard that being overweight can and ultimately will lead to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, joint failure among other diseases and most significant of all, lower our quality of life.

Hearing about our future diseases doesn’t seem to motivate us to change, because the diseases haven’t knocked on our door yet, and we really don’t know what it is like to have those diseases, but there is a trend brewing that hopes to help us prevent the onset of these diseases by encouraging better lifestyle habits early on.

How will we learn to be healthier?  Your health care provider may want to be in better touch with you.   She/He may want to engage with you regularly via a “facebook-like” communication tool, helping you to set health goals and ask you things like, “How many hours did you sleep on average, this month,” or “How many minutes did you exercise this week?”  Or they may want you to check your blood pressure every day and report it, watching for trends that could lead to trouble, and contact you to help you manage a health issue before it becomes a chronic problem.

Would you be willing to participate in regular dialogue with your primary care physician like this?

I am an 8-YES.  What are you?

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