In a lot of circumstances, doctors can determine the health status of someone and even identify the specific cause of certain symptoms by asking you the right questions or putting you through an examination. This is the foundation of a lot of primary care medicine and has been for many years.

However, there are times when doctors need to look under the hood. Imaging tests and lab work give them insights into how your body is working inside. That’s why keeping current with medical testing is essential. Measuring certain chemicals can be a report card into the functionality of your organs and internal systems.

Avoiding such screenings or procrastinating about them can have harmful consequences into your health. Cancer is a scary and potentially fatal disease, but it’s pretty easy to treat sometimes when caught early enough. Also, if you already suffer from particular conditions, then testing can help prevent unwanted complications.

Lab testing can involve samples of blood, tissue, saliva, and urine. Imaging tests might include X-rays, ultrasounds, MRI work, or CT scans. Your doctor can help you understand what tests you need and when you ask you all their questions based on your appointments and exams.

The number of locations where you can get many lab and imaging tests done has grown exponentially in the last few decades. That’s because the use of lab and imaging tests has increased in prevalence. Once just restricted to hospital settings, imaging services are now in urgent care centers and even some doctor’s offices.

Lab testing is far more widespread, as quite a few doctor’s offices have their lab technician in-house. Also, many lab testing places operate as independent businesses, collecting lab samples for doctors and their patients and doing STD testing for private citizens, drug tests for corporate clients and employers, and even pandemic testing for anyone wondering if they have been infected or not.

If your doctor has prescribed specific testing for you, you need to make sure that you have it done. Should your doctor’s office not have its lab technician to collect samples while you are already there for an appointment, then you might have to go and do that somewhere else as a second trip or visit.