Karl, 51, is a husband, father and learning experience designer who takes
good care of himself by working out regularly and eating healthy.
He has never been hospitalized or had any type of surgery. In fact, he
hadn’t even been to visit a doctor in two years. So, he was surprised
to learn that he was suffering from high blood pressure.
A routine blood pressure check at a health fair registered higher than
recommended and motivated Karl to seek a primary care provider or PCP.
His wife made him an appointment with
Dr. Felix Torres, an internal medicine specialist at
North Oaks Primary Care in Livingston.
During the examination, Dr. Torres recommended a low-salt diet and exercise,
and eventually, a low-dose blood pressure medication.
He also diagnosed a condition that Karl had chalked up to a sprain as a
metabolic disorder that could easily be treated with a healthy diet and exercise.
Like Karl, many of us juggle many roles, each bringing unique experiences
and responsibilities to our lives, and others depend on us so we don’t
have time to be sick. That’s why it is important to do our best
to stay healthy.
The key to good health is focusing on taking care of yourself and doing
things that keep you feeling your best. While it’s important to
eat better and exercise, it’s also just as important to be physically,
emotionally, mentally and spiritually healthy. This means understanding
yourself, your needs and how to respond to them in balance.
A PCP can help do just that.
What Is A PCP?
A PCP develops a trusted partnership with you and can help you live a healthy
and well life by providing regular well visits, check-ups, immunizations
and preventive screenings. PCPs treat common medical problems and teach
you how to make healthy lifestyle choices. If you need specialized care
for a specific health concern, your primary care doctor can connect you
with a specialist who has the expertise you need. It’s a partnership
A PCP is often a physician, but nurse practitioners and physician assistants
can also provide primary care services.
“I try to take care of myself. I exercise moderately, running 5 miles
a couple of times a week and eating well,” Karl adds. “But,
this is Louisiana and I like to enjoy football and bonfires and all the
good food and cocktails that go along with them so it’s great having
someone monitor me."
Why Are Well Visits Important?
A well visit, a scheduled appointment with your health care provider when
you are not sick, helps to prevent health problems and is the perfect
chance for you to talk with your provider. During this appointment, your
overall health will be checked and you may receive recommended tests or
Getting the right health services and screenings for your age, family history
and lifestyle choices helps your chances for living a longer, healthier
life. Your PCP will work with you to develop a health care strategy that
works best for you.
Karl recognizes that choosing a PCP is an important part of his health
“I was relieved after meeting with Dr. Torres,” Karl recalls.
“I never really felt bad and didn’t realize I had a problem.
But it’s good to have a doctor watching out for me and keeping me
Make the most of every moment in 2018 by staying well. The new year is
a great time to visit your PCP or if you don’t have one, schedule
an appointment to establish a relationship. Do it today. You don’t
want to miss out on anything the new year has to offer!
For a list of North Oaks Physician Group primary care providers, visit
www.northoaks.org/wellvisit. To schedule an appointment, call (985) 230-APPT (2778) in Hammond or
1 (844) APPT-NOW (277-8669) in Livingston. Our providers accept most major