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HealthWatch: Holiday Season Doctor Visits

Doctor (file/credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Doctor (file/credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

CBS New York (con't)

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NEW YORK (CBS 2) – This is a very busy time of year, but it’s a good time to give yourself the gift of health, not just because it’s good for you, but as Dr. Max Gomez reports, it also makes a lot of financial sense.

You’ve got parties to go to, shopping to do, presents to wrap and family to visit, so who has time for something like going to the doctor? But now is exactly the time you should be going to the doctor and not after the first of the year.

That’s because you’ve probably already used up the deductible on your health insurance.  After the new year, you’ve got a whole new deductible to satisfy. Plus you may very well have some money left in your health flex spending account.

Not to mention there are good medical reasons for acting sooner rather than later.

“We don’t like to have patients put their medical concerns off. It sometimes worsens the underlying condition so my advice to the people out there is to go see a doctor sooner than later,” said Dr. Elan Levy of St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital.

It’s a good time to be getting the kind of tests and checks that almost everyone shoud be getting. Such as cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, Pap tests and mammograms for women, PSA and prostate exams for men, and maybe even a colonoscopy if you can get scheduled in time.

Even though you may be pretty busy right now, remember why the doctor’s visit is so important. “If there’s something wrong it’s early detection. Detection is better early than later,” Dr. Levy said.

Medical experts tell us that if we all just stayed on top of things like cholesterol, blood pressure, prostate, colon and breast cancer tests, we could drastically cut the death rate from most of the biggest killers of Americans.

Plus it’ll save you some money.