Take a Loved One to the Doctor



Take a Loved One to the Doctor
By: Wendy Ray

It's not always fun to go to the doctor.

In fact, research shows a lot of people have to be motivated by someone else before they step foot into a doctor's office. That's why there's a special push September 16 to get people moving called "Take a Loved One to the Doctor" day. The Department of Health and Human Services puts it on once a year to raise awareness about regular doctors visits, so people will take charge of their health.
Wilma Applington always gets nervous when she goes to the doctor's office. "Especially the first visit I don't know the doctor, the surroundings, the nurses," she says. She's also afraid of what they might find, so she brings her fiance along for support. "It gives her support," her fiance Donald Gross says. "She has a lot of medical problems that need to be addressed."
Research shows most people wait until they're in pain or an emergency to go to the doctor. That's why there's "Take a Loved One to the Doctor" day. It's an effort to catch health problems before they get any worse. Nurse Practitioner Nicole Huckabee says, "We can check for heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, mammograms can detect breast cancer, prostate exams can detect prostate cancer." Huckabee sees an average of 50 patients a day at Immediate Healthcare. She says regular check-ups are important even if you're feeling okay. "Because a lot of times people come in and are feeling fine and don't know they have a problem. If they come in for a screening they can catch it before it becomes a bigger problem," Huckabee says. She also sees a lot of people, like Wilma, come in with a loved one. Wilma's fiance Donald doesn't mind making the trip. "You're supposed to be there for support. You just do what you can," he says.

Minorities are especially encouraged to take part in "Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day" or to make an appointment to see a physician in the future. The day is also designed to look at the gap between racial and ethnic groups.

You can find more information about the importance of regular screenings by clicking here: