Annual Physicals

The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism - Sir William Osler

Annual Physicals
Annual Physicals

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Improving Value in Health Care — Against the Annual Physical

The past few decades have seen numerous calls to eliminate the annual physical examination. In 1979, the Canadian Task Force on the Periodic Health Examination recommended “that the annual checkup, as practised almost ritualistically for several decades in North America, be abandoned.” In 2013, as part of the Choosing Wisely campaign, the Society of General Internal Medicine recommended against annual preventive examinations in asymptomatic patients.

Nevertheless, about one third of U.S. adults receive an annual physical (also called an annual preventive exam or periodic health exam) in any given year, and that trend has not abated. This ongoing practice is not surprising, since…

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 Improving Value in Health Care — Against the Annual Physical

Reducing the use of annual physicals could also save money and time. Though on a per-visit basis, the annual physical is not costly, it is the single most common reason that U.S. patients seek care, and cumulatively these visits cost more than $10 billion per year — similar to the annual costs of all lung-cancer care in the United States. Reducing the number of physicals could free up another societal resource — primary care providers' time.

5 Things Your Gynecologist Can Tell From A Basic Exam

Only 17 percent of women see their gynecologist for an annual exam. And while the American College of Physicians recently said that healthy-seeming women don’t really need a pelvic exam, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, along with many doctors, still believes in the value of a full workup.

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