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Dr. Brown is a noted family physician and international and national speaker on health prevention, wellness, continuing medical education and women’s health. She is a member of numerous advisory bodies for both the provincial and federal government, helping make decisions regarding healthcare of Canadians. She was awarded, Family Physician of the Year, 2012 by the Ontario College of Family Physicians.


The Benefits of having a Personal Health Risk Assessment

Don’t we all want to know how we’re doing from a health point of view and if we’re on the right track? That was a question posed centuries ago by the learned Hippocrates-the father of modern medicine who focused on diet and exercise to forecast the health of his patients.  Fast forward a few centuries later and we now have a more formal process, called the Personal Health Risk Assessment.

The process refined over the years is a four-part questionnaire used to evaluate the health risks and quality of life of patients.

The questions are based on lifestyle including what level and form of exercise is practiced, demographics such as age, sex, personal and family medical history, and physiological data such as your weight, height, blood pressure and cholesterol. Another important part of the process is your level of willingness to change your behaviour in order to improve your health.

A personal health risk assessment can have enormous benefits, whether the assessment is for an individual or used as part of an employee health and wellness program.

It provides a snapshot of your current health. Enables individuals to monitor their health status overtime. Having concrete information helps prepare you for a change in your lifestyle.  The information is there, before you, and makes it clear in black and white what needs to change.

If your company is engaged in a health prevention program –it can help determine on an aggregate basis how healthy and productive the company work population is AND what health related programs they might include such as lunch and learns, flu shot clinics, reviewing the company cafeteria menu to ensure healthy food choices are available, and introducing a health management program.

Hippocrates was imprisoned for 20 years for believing and arguing that disease was not a punishment inflicted by the gods, but rather the product of environmental factors, diet, and living habits.

The same holds true today.
You can make changes to your health—a Personal health risk assessment is one of those ways.

The more information you have—both the good and the challenges—the better able you are to make informed decisions about what you can do keep or improve your well-being.


Dr. Vivien Brown, MDCM, CCFP, FCFP, NCMP
Vice-President, Medical Affairs, Medisys Health Group