Each week, between 2 and 3 million viewers tune into a little show called Dr. Pimple Popper, which follows Dr. Sandra Lee as she treats some of the most unusual skin problems in the nation. Another popular but fictional medical show, Chicago Med, has grown its viewership from 8.43 to 11.32 million viewers since its debut in 2015. The popular emergency room drama ER ran a whopping 15 seasons and boasted a cool 30 million viewers during its peak seasons.
It’s clear from these numbers that America is obsessed with medical television, but are we as interested in our own health? Out of the estimated 327 million people living in America only about 44 million actually visit their primary care provider for an annual checkup and physical exam, according to a 2007 study by JAMA Internal Medicine. That amount is close to the number of people in the U.S. who own gym memberships–about 41 million, though only around 16 million actually visit the gym 100 days or more each year.
Ready for another number that’s concerns primary care providers? WebMD has around 70 million site visitors monthly. More people are willing to trust an internet source than their own primary care provider. We’re not hating on WebMD–it’s a good place to research mostly accurate medical information–but it shouldn’t replace a visit to your provider.
We think it’s great that Americans enjoy watching shows centered around the medical field and community. We’d be lying if we said we didn’t tune into some of these shows ourselves. What we are saying is we want you to care as much about your own state of health as you do about that awful farewell episode to Dr. Karev on Grey’s Anatomy.
Overall, most Americans believe than an annual exam is important according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation which found that 92% of Americans agree the exam is necessary. However, the same survey showed only 62% actually go in for their annual appointment.
Though some in the medical community believe it’s okay to skip a year or two between checkups, we believe your health can change quickly for a number of reasons. An annual exam is the best way to catch any concerns or issues early through the screenings and exam performed at every annual checkup. We also care about you and consider all of our patients to be part of the EliteCare family. When we don’t see or hear from you each year, we wonder how you’re doing! Plus, most health insurances completely cover one annual checkup per year so it’s no cost to insured patients to come in.
Anxious about what to expect during an annual checkup? Luckily for you we’ve written another blog that provides an in-depth look at what to expect during these appointments. You can check that blog out here. (will link after this blog is published)