I'm one that rarely goes to the doctor. I have one that knows me- I've been going to her for many years and refuse to switch doctors to keep the insurance happy. I go for my yearly visit, and only rarely otherwise.
My first defense is my kitchen- the things that we eat, that keep us healthy enough to stave off most of the little illnesses. This is part of why I'm building a from-scratch pantry (more on that in another post), and eating as local and seasonal as we can. It's also part of why I prefer organic as often as I can get it - I realize USDA organic certification has some problems, but I do know it means no GMOs and a more natural way of farming. I believe those things result in a more nutritious plant, thus more nutritious food.
Second defense is cleanliness. We wash dishes by hand, as the dishwasher has shown it can't clean properly - and we noticed less colds after that change. I have sanitizer by all the sinks (to be used IN ADDITION to hand-washing, not instead of!) If someone has a cold, I start changing all hand-towels daily, and disinfecting handles and the like just before bed. I don't want to let cold germs breed all night! I make sure to get sections of wall that are often touched, as well. (ex: light switches, and the place you always put your hand to push open the door).
The third defense is treating symptoms as soon as possible. Rest is one of my treatments - as soon as I realize I'm starting to catch something, I spend the day at home in bed. I eat well, and maybe eat some homemade soup. *poof* the cold is gone! (alright, not quite *poof* but definitely gone.)
With these simple steps, we went from several small colds and a couple of larger ones, to one small cold, in two winters. And yes, we have a child in public school.
Related posts elsewhere:
Bulls-eye Medicine: about re-localizing medicine, among other things.
Improve Your Diet Now: from the Preparedness Pro.
A Brief History of Health and Medicine - makes for an interesting read.
How to Avoid GM Foods - a Wiki article