While your plans this time of year are most likely centered around shopping, baking and spending time with friends and family, OCH Regional Medical Center encourages you to take time for your annual check-up if you haven’t already done so this year. Most insurance plans include a wellness benefit that covers a yearly check-up and certain additional services that are at little or no cost to you.

“Regular screenings can help detect disease before a patient experiences symptoms and early detection may allow for more effective treatment,” explained Dr. Mercedes Terrell, an internal medicine physician at OCH Medical Associates. “I have always had an interest in developing long-term relationships with my patients and encourage them to have healthy lifestyle practices, and that includes receiving regular screenings and exams. Regular wellness visits help me better understand my patient’s state of health which then guides prevention and treatment goals,” said Dr. Terrell.

Dr. Terrell explained for patients who have chronic illnesses, regular visits with their physician may mean twice a year; however, she emphasized that everyone, regardless of his or her health condition, should have a yearly wellness check-up.

“Even if you live a healthy lifestyle, there could be other contributing factors, such as genetics, that may create health problems,” said Josh Black, MD, family medicine physician at OCH Medical Associates, “In the early stages, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood sugar may not present any noticeable symptoms for patients; however, if these problems are left untreated, they can lead to more serious conditions such as a heart attack and stroke,” explained Dr. Black.

Dr. Terrell and Dr. Black enjoy getting to know their patients in order to best meet their healthcare needs. Board-certified in internal medicine, Dr. Terrell provides preventative care and specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic illnesses, treating the patient as a whole. Board-certified in family medicine, Dr. Black practices a full scope of inpatient and outpatient family medicine and is especially interested in chronic medical conditions, pediatrics and sports medicine.

Research indicates that continuity of care translates into healthier patients. Having a trusted internist or family medicine physician that you see regularly can help you better manage a chronic disease and also prevent disease. If you’d like to take advantage of your wellness visit before the end of the year, call OCH Medical Associates at 662-615-3771. Office hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. – noon.

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