A New Year’s Guide to Health Screenings

Sadaf Mustafa, MD, advises Willie Kinard on the preventive screenings he needs to keep him healthy.
Sadaf Mustafa, MD, advises Willie Kinard on the preventive screenings he needs to keep him healthy.

Exercising, eating right, getting plenty of sleep, and not smoking are four New Year’s resolutions you can make to improve your health. But it’s also important to get the right screening tests at the right time. This year, resolve to get the screenings you need to prevent and catch potential health problems before they become major concerns. Knowing which tests to get and when to get them can be a challenge, given that screening guidelines are changing frequently, as concerns grow that overusing such tests might lead to unnecessary procedures.

To make this as simple as possible, Sadaf Mustafa, MD, a primary care physician on the medical staff of MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, has prepared the following guides tailored to the unique needs of men and women of any age. While these are useful general guidelines, she recommends, “Each individual should talk to their doctor first, who will then be able to take the personal and family history into account and suggest the screening test that‘s right for you.”

Dr. Mustafa highlights three important preventive health measures that are especially prone to being overlooked: mental health screenings, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccinations and osteoporosis screenings for both men and women. She believes that having your doctor ask a few questions about your mental health is as equally important as many of the other health screenings.

“The single most important screening is for your mental health,” she explains. “Your physician can use one of several short, validated questionnaires that are available to check your mental health every time you get your routine physical exam.” She recommends starting these brief screenings as early as 18 years of age. Dr. Mustafa also recommends that young people should get the HPV vaccines to help prevent a variety of cancers.

This article appeared in the winter 2016 issue of Good Health. Read more articles from this issue.

Location Information

Sadaf Mustafa, MD, Internal Medicine
201 E. University Parkway
Baltimore, MD 21218
410-554-2284

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