Whether you are 35 or 65 or anywhere in between, it’s important to push preventive health care to the top of your priority list.

While preventive health care is important for everyone, it’s especially important for business leaders. That’s because your time-strapped life puts you at higher-than-average risk for serious illness.

The patients we see in the Mayo Clinic Executive Health Program typically work long hours, spend most of their work time at a computer, travel extensively, eat on the go and don’t get enough sleep. 

Sound familiar? Those factors increase the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety and stress. 

If you are thinking, “Not me! I feel great. I don’t get sick.” Consider this: through the course of an executive health exam with your physician, about half of our new, incoming executive patients may learn they have a health condition that would benefit from treatment, lifestyle changes or ongoing monitoring. And most of those patients with previously undiagnosed health concerns had not yet experienced any symptoms. While it can be scary to confront these possibilities, early awareness and treatment can change the course of many illnesses. 

What is preventive care?

Consider preventive care in two categories: what you can do yourself, and what you can do in collaboration with a health care team

Most of my patients know what’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Don’t smoke. Eat healthy foods. Drink only in moderation. Exercise. But the challenge is incorporating healthy choices every day into an over-scheduled life. 

Your preventive health team

That’s where an executive health program and preventive care team can step in to help, not only with detecting and treating illness, but also developing an achievable wellness plan. Over the course of two to three days, Mayo recommends patients undergo a:

  • Comprehensive health assessment and medical history review
  • Full range of preventive screening tests
  • Cardiovascular counseling
  • Lifestyle assessment
  • Consultation with specialists, as needed
  • In-depth, one-on-one review with your physician

Mayo Clinic has offered this service for more than 50 years, leveraging the full depth and breadth of our nationally recognized expertise to help CEOs, executives, business owners and entrepreneurs maintain good health. This unique program is the portal to Mayo Clinic preventive care that is focused, efficient, personalized and offered in a manner that provides you ample time to review and discuss your health status and concerns with your executive health physician.  

At the end of your stay, you’ll have a personal plan to optimize your health. Charting the path is your personal Mayo Clinic physician, who heads a deep team of specialists to provide care and guidance based on your health.

Consider these scenarios:

  • At age 35, a comprehensive cardiovascular review could indicate risk for heart disease. With your physician, create a plan that includes healthier eating and more movement. Develop an achievable plan to increase movement every day. Healthy eating seem impossible? Patients don the proverbial chef’s hat during a session with a Mayo Clinic chef to practice making quick, healthy, flavorful meals.
  • At age 45, a family medical history could indicate the benefit of predictive genomic testing to better evaluate risk for blood clots, cancer and many other hereditary conditions. These results can provide the information to develop an individualized screening program based on your personal risk.
  • At age 60, preventive screenings could indicate kidney disease, cancer or liver disease — that have not presented any symptoms. Patients undergo additional diagnostic tests and benefit from a treatment plan, usually all completed during their original visit to Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic has specialists in virtually every medical field.

Take time for preventive health  

Preventive exams are important. They do lead to discovery of disease or increased risk of disease. Based on the findings, you and your team can act on the results. You then reduce your risk of ill health and increase the likelihood of many more healthy years to enjoy your work, your family and leisure.  

YPO has a relationship with Mayo Clinic, a global leader in serious and complex health care. Mayo Clinic provides thought leadership focused on health information and wellness. YPO members are welcome to explore more on the Mayo Clinic and this unique partnership as well as other offerings on these topics from the YPO Health and Wellness Network.