Visit a primary care physician before leaving the country. A lot of our patients enjoy international travel. It can be an incredible amount of fun to see and experience a new plan. These are the adventures that are remembered for a lifetime. As a doctor, our goal is to make sure that they are remembered in a positive light. Being unhealthy while on an international trip can absolutely ruin the vacation. Visiting us first can help to prevent that from happening.
1. We can conduct a regular physical
We recommend that people visit our office for an annual physical anyway. However, we know that most adults do not visit their primary care physician this frequently. Doing so before leaving for the international trip is a great idea. By conducting a thorough examination and running blood work, we can determine if someone has any health issues that need to be addressed. For example, if a person has severely high cholesterol or blood pressure, going on a trip without getting it under control could only exasperate the problem. We can help by prescribing various medications or lifestyle changes designed to bring a person's health back to normal levels.
2. Get a flu shot
Especially if traveling during flu season, it is important to get a flu shot prior to getting on that plane. Airplane air is circulated throughout the cabin so if anyone on the plane has the flu, there is a much greater likelihood of catching this horrible condition. Getting a flu shot will reduce the likelihood and provide a level of protection so that it is possible to enjoy the vacation, rather than spending it stuck in the hotel room sick.
3. Get immunized
Depending on where a person is traveling, it is important to receive a variety of immunizations first. For example, there are still places in the world where malaria is incredibly common. Being immunized against it can be lifesaving. By knowing where a patient is headed, we can make recommendations for any specific immunizations that Americans traveling abroad should receive prior to the trip. Some of these need to be given in more than one dose, so it is best to visit our office three months before leaving.
4. Improving health
If patients visit us, their primary care physician, several months before leaving on the trip we can find out about any overall health challenges that a patient is facing and make recommendations for how to solve them. Things like soreness caused by a foot problem can get in the way of enjoying a vacation. However, if we know about it, we can treat that soreness so that a patient is not restricted when out touring famous sites or wanting to enjoy a hike in beautiful nature. The key is visiting us early enough so that we can make recommendations that can begin to cause changes prior to the trip.
Schedule an appointment today
When taking the time to plan an exciting overseas vacation, it is important to also take the time to ensure that your health will be up to the journey. Schedule an appointment with our office to speak with a primary care physician to ensure that it is.