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Stop Medical Distancing: It’s Time to Start Talking to Your Doctor Again

While social distancing is a key part of staying safe throughout COVID-19, it shouldn't mean avoiding your doctor to get the care you need.

With COVID-19 cases still increasing in many areas of the U.S., it’s essential to keep social distancing, but your doctor is someone you shouldn’t be avoiding. To encourage the public to visit their doctors and keep those important checkups, McKesson has joined an alliance of industry-leading healthcare experts in a national campaign called “Stop Medical Distancing.” The campaign aims to remind the public that their health is important, even more so now during the current public health crisis.

Recent research published by GoodRx reports that more than 75% of Americans have had some aspect of their healthcare disrupted due to COVID-19 and are canceling or delaying medical appointments such as general checkups, chronic treatment care and cancer screenings – visits that are critical to their health and wellbeing. Delaying these important medical visits can lead to serious complications and can have negative consequences.

“We’ve seen in the world of cancer care a large decrease in the number of patients with new diagnoses, and there’s no reason to believe that cancer has taken a break,” said Dr. Michael Seiden, president of The US Oncology Network. “The decrease in numbers suggests that patients are skipping their routine cancer screenings with their primary care physicians. The biggest risk in skipping a doctor visit is with the patients who are unaware that they may have cancer. Early detection can make such a difference in treating cancer, so it’s imperative that patients not delay any screenings.”

To highlight that point, Dr. Ned Sharpless, director of the National Cancer Institute, predicted at least 10,000 additional deaths from breast and colorectal cancers over the next 10 years due to COVID-19’s impact on cancer screening rates.

The US Oncology Network continues to take extra steps to help protect the safety of patients and to encourage them to continue their doctor visits. This includes screening for symptoms and checking temperatures for everyone entering a clinic, limiting visitors and spacing out the waiting room, providing personal protective equipment for all healthcare providers, contact tracking, working remotely and telehealth visits.  

“The best way to stay healthy is to stay in touch with your healthcare provider, and if you haven’t been, it’s time to take action,” Dr. Seiden continues. “Stop putting off taking care of yourself, start seeing your doctor again and be sure to share this important message with your friends and family.”

To further promote this critical “Stop Medical Distancing” message, select U.S. Health Mart pharmacies will showcase signage and educate customers, helping to ensure no potential preventative or medical diagnosis goes unchecked.

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