Do you really need an annual physical exam?

Posted at 5:49 PM, Nov 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-03 17:49:00-05

A debate between two Harvard Medical School professors published in the New England Journal of Medicine has caused the merits of the annual physical exam to be in question.

The yearly physical exam has been in place for years.

Many not only accept this as the standard, but expect this from our primary care doctors.

Now there is much speculation over whether those between the ages of 18 and fifty years old should get annual physical examinations.

Family practitioner Robert Ford said eighteen year-olds may not need an annual physical exam. "This group is seen a fair amount with school physicals, sports exams and immunizations." But, skipping an annual physical added Dr. Ford, especially in their thirties, forties, and fifties, could pose a health problem.

Undetected explained Dr. Ford, these issues can get too far out of hand.

"It's a better time to find when something is starting to be a problem, than trying to figure out later on and catching up afterward." Said Dr. Ford.

Individualized exams concluded Dr. Ford like an age appropriate physical rather than the executive physical, where everything is checked whether it's necessary or not is the direction that will benefit patients the most.

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