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Health promotion and personal safety

The annual wellness exam is one of my favorite things to do as a doctor. It’s a chance to talk about one of my passions: health promotion.

As most patients expect, our health-promotion discussion includes smoking cessation, diet and exercise. Perhaps more surprising is our conversation regarding personal safety. We talk about sunscreen, seatbelts, helmets, distracted driving or driving under the influence. And I ask if their guns are locked up.

I grew up in Iowa and I live in South Dakota. Both are states where hunting and guns are such a part of the culture, we don’t think twice about people...


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