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Questions for the Experts

We asked members of our medical staff to answer some common questions they hear from their patients. Check out their answers.

Q: How often should my child see their pediatrician?

Hollie Stewart, CCMG Pediatrician A: It’s important that your child have all of their required vaccinations on time, and infants and toddlers usually have several well child visits during the first few years of life. After age three, all children should have a yearly well child check with a healthcare provider that includes assessment of their growth, development and a physical exam. Seeing your child every year instead of just when they're sick gives us the opportunity to focus on identifying any potential problems and prevention. Teenagers need annual well child visits too. Their worlds are changing very quickly and they often have many questions that we can help with. A full list of required immunizations is available at

Dr. Hollie Stewart, Campbell County Medical Group Pediatrics

Q: How often should I have a Pap test?

Dr. Jennifer Linden, OBGYNA: A Pap test is performed by your healthcare provider, who takes a sample of cervical cells and sends them to a lab to see if abnormal cells are present. It usually takes 2-7 years for serious changes in cervical cells to become cancerous, but even then there may be no noticeable symptoms. Screening may detect these changes before they become cancer. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, women ages 21-65 should have a Pap test every 3 years, even if they have no symptoms. If there are symptoms or a woman has had abnormal cells before, the Pap test might be needed more often. A woman over 65 may not need a Pap test at all if she is screened regularly or has no history of cervical changes. A woman who has had a hysterectomy due to cancer, or significant changes before removal of the cervix should continue Pap tests for 20 years after surgery. A woman who had a hysterectomy without a history of abnormal cells does not need a routine Pap test. Always check with your healthcare provider for their specific recommendation.

Dr. Jennifer Linden, CCMG OB GYN Specialists

Q: Why is exercise so important in preventing and controlling diabetes and high blood pressure?

Dr. Nathan Tracey, Family MedicineA: Exercise makes you more sensitive to insulin, which helps decrease your glucose levels. Vigorous exercise can decrease your A1C (a measurement of blood sugar over time) by 1 point and blood pressure by 5-10 points. I recommend exercising five days a week, and the two days off shouldn’t be back-to-back. Resistance training using your own body weight, such as squats, lunges and push-ups is a great way to work multiple muscle groups. The more muscles you use, the more sugar you burn, which can increase insulin sensitivity. High blood pressure and diabetes are widespread health problems in the United States today. More than 50% of people over age 60 have hypertension, or high blood pressure; and diabetes affects more than 8% of the whole U.S. population and up to 40% of those are undiagnosed.

Nathan Tracey, DO, CCMG Family Medicine