Time for my yearly check up…or is it?

Interesting editorial from The New York Times yesterday by Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, oncologist and vice provost at University of Pennsylvania, calling into question the utility of an annual physical exam. Dr. Emanuel discusses whether the annual exam has any meaningful impact on health outcomes of patients. He refers to a 2012 study from The Cochrane Library that looked at the benefits and harms of general health checks in asymptomatic adults. This study analyzed 14 randomized controlled trials and the authors concluded that general health checks did not reduce morbidity or mortality. Because no mortality/morbidity benefit has been shown, should we disregard the annual physical exam? With physician-patient communication gaining recent attention, are there other outcomes that haven’t been measured from annual health exams that benefit the patient’s general health? Check out the editorial and Cochrane study below!

“Skip Your Annual Physical Exam”

“General health checks in adults for reducing morbidity and mortality from disease”