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Preventative vs Diagnostic care

Preventative and Diagnostic are the two forms of health care you might receive, both of which are aimed to ensure that you remain as healthy as possible. It is crucial to understand the differences between them to get an idea of your current physical and mental wellbeing. In this article, we will be discussing preventative vs diagnostic care.

What is preventative care?

This form of care focuses on the evaluation of your current health and disease prevention. It is the best way for you to stay healthy. Preventative care should be part of your routine physical care including checkups, most immunizations, preventative screening tests, and annual wellness visits. Preventative care is also known as well-care visits, well-adult visits, well-child visits, annual wellness visits, or annual physical exams. Here are a few examples of preventative care:

● Physical exam

● Review of your medical history

● Review the risk of certain health conditions

● Certain health screenings, immunizations, and lab tests

● Discuss how to manage current health risks

What is diagnostic care?

Diagnostic care covers the investigation and treatment of a health issue. It can also include treatment of a specific symptom, ongoing care, risk factors, or other tests needed for managing or treating your health condition or medical issue. In some cases, diagnostic care can be performed during a visit for preventative care:

● You have a health concern that must be evaluated.

● The doctor finds a potential health condition during your routine visit and, based on the findings, conducts a diagnostic exam.

Here are a few examples of diagnostic care:

● Diagnosis and treatment for medical illnesses.

● X-rays and lab tests for specific illnesses or conditions

● Procedures like removing skin tags

● Treating symptoms such as headaches or back pain

How to know if your test is diagnostic or preventative?

By knowing whether your test is preventative or diagnostic, you can know what to expect. The same test can be preventative or diagnostic, depending on if it's a part of your regular wellness visit or a response to existing conditions or new symptoms.

An example of this is high cholesterol. A person can have the cholesterol screening test during their annual preventative care visit. However, if you are taking medications for treating high cholesterol and visiting your doctor to check your cholesterol level and to make sure that you have the right dosage of medication, it is a part of the diagnostic care.

Both, preventative and diagnostic care can be a part of the same visit. For example, you might discuss a chronic illness you have during a routine check-up. The tests that your doctor orders can be diagnostic (cholesterol check if you have high cholesterol) or preventative (screening mammogram). By understanding what is the difference between diagnostic and preventative care, you will be able to anticipate what to expect in terms of your health and costs associated with certain services. Our Providers and Physicians at

Phoenix Family Medical Clinic

treat and provide care for kids with ADHD, strep throat, bronchitis, and other medical conditions. For fast and urgent medical care, visit the Phoenix Family Medical Clinic.