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A checkup for the checkup: Do you really need a yearly physical?

October 23, 2015

About the Author

photo of Amy Ship, MD

Amy Ship, MD, Contributing Editor

Amy N. Ship, MD is an internist and educator at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She received a B.A.with Honors in English Literature from Swarthmore College, … See Full Bio
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November 22, 2015

Regular checkup is really important. Thank you for useful information.

Beth Walker
November 16, 2015


Ben Adams
November 16, 2015

I totally think that a yearly check up is necessary! I have a private cardiologist and I have no fault booking an appointment with him once a year. A couple of years ago, when I was a young, spritely individual, I got a bit of a heart scare. You might not think it’s necessary if you’re young, but trust me it is. I’m glad I have a private heart specialist to look after me haha!

November 6, 2015

Great information ! I have started implementing them in my blog @homeremdiesforgirls.

November 6, 2015

Yes it is correct .

Amelia Roster
November 5, 2015

Perhaps we do not need an exhaustive checkup on a yearly basis but knowing about the essentials of our health is definitely necessary including factors like pressure and sugar particularly if we are obese or lead unhealthy life-styles.

Mario -
November 3, 2015

Interesting point of view. But for me, regular checkup is something really important. It can be done only once, and may not spend too much expense. What we can get is an early alarm of possible unhealthy condition or sign of dangerous disease, which will be better to treat before it’s too late.

Manimaran Ayyavoo
October 28, 2015

Early detection and early prevention is better than Cure at a later stage, concerning the trauma factor and it’s allied complications to the citizen and the society. Healthy minds,bodies,spirits,souls and heart ensures healthy nation for productive and collective peace, progress,prosperity with care,concern and compassion,we live only once,living it right,once is enough. Contribute to educate,employ,energize,enhance and empower one and all. Have a healthy,wealthy, wise,happy and successful nation. A. Manimaran. M.S,B.L,D.S.W,COUNSELOR. MOBILE+919840447410.

November 29, 2015

Of course expsruoe tot he radiation is a cancer hazard. Did you know that the little holes on the front panel are designed in a specific size to prevent radiation leakage? It does not mean that leakage can not occur around the door seal. I have noticed that microwaves also have warnings about the rear of the device; I assume that no shielding is provided for the rear of the machine.

October 27, 2015

With cut-backs in healthcare, and attention given to the bottom line for some healthcare plans, this is a dangerous recommendation. Cancer and many chronic illnesses are rampant in our country, and regular exams are the only insurance to catch them at an early stage, when they are still treatable.

Mammography, colonoscopy, pap tests, blood work are all designed as preventative measures. Tests and lab work are also designed to detect changes in blood sugar (only an A1C can diagnose diabetes); and high blood pressure, a silent ailment, can quickly lead to coronary artery disease, stroke and heart attack. Alternatively, heart health can be maintained through daily oral medication.

And last but not least, our country needs a broad net to detect and control communicable ailments like AIDS/HIV, SARS, TB and other viral illnesses, which may, if undetected, lead to major epidemics, affecting millions of people who work in an office, ride the train, or deal with the public.

It is simply bravado to say doctors may be obsolete.

Karen/Massachusetts resident

October 27, 2015

Any one of the following tests can be used for diagnosis: of diabetes

an A1C test, also called the hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c, or glycohemoglobin test

a fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test

an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)

Lorraine Todd
October 27, 2015

As someone who has had annual exams faithfully for decades and four years ago was diagnosed with a very early breast cancer that was promptly and successfully treated, I can only surmise this article was written from the perspective of bean-counters for insurers. If a three-year schedule of check-ups had been in place, I would only now be receiving a much worse diagnosis, and very much worse prognosis. Perhaps the authors could have explained how preventative screenings would be adequately provided, rather than implying that annual visits are an unnecessary social and psychological crutch for patients. But hey, I am just a humble citizen.

M. P. Lichtenberg
October 27, 2015

” reducing the number of annual exams would save both money and time” While seniors wait around for a substitute to be developed and approved to replace annual visits, old folks, in effect become their own doctors. Do I know the early symptoms of various diseases? Do I recognize some general discomfort as an indicator of a more serious issue and therefore just chalk it up to old age and wait for it to get bad enough so that I have to be carted to the ER? Two years ago on my annual visit, my doctor noticed a minor anomaly on my prostate gland. That led to a referral to a urologist and oncologist who identified Level 3 cancer (even though my PSA test was still and had been normal for years). If I had not had not had that annual physical who knows how long I might have gone with the unidentified cancer growing in my body?
I’m glad that primary care doctors want to save money and time. The medical specialists, the hospitals, and the funeral homes need the business.

October 27, 2015

Anyone who takes a prescription medication is required to see a physician annually even if it is something benign like a skin cream or antihistamine. That needs to change to every two years.

Tomasz Stanisław Pelczar
October 27, 2015

Whether we are in the today to breed the egg of the bird on the base
of information DNA,
of bone marrow etc (?) in order after the appropriate incubation to supply it
of so that fly
the animal could freely live in conditions of our planet or the vehicle
out of the planet system,
transporting animals of the type the giraffe can be troublesome, but the kind requires the concern,
the plus is very interesting by the way an issue is also bothering me
of eating the meat in the outer space…

I am practically on the 100% reliable, that having current remains we can
back to restore to the ground described in one book
travel enough known bird Dodo.
The same the matter o fact within temrature and phonos etc we know how to make warm for flat, bungalow etc so we are able to create new planets within the condition to continue our current living … Mechatronic within human body is not the very best idea, but let’s is possible “immortality” ….

Bruce Gordon
October 27, 2015

This looks more like justification of cost cutting for providers and insurers than it does an improvement of actual healthcare.

Peter Ellis
October 27, 2015

The notion that annual (or other regular) physical exams should be abandoned for all patients, regardless of age and medical condition, strikes me as simplistic in the extreme.

Annual physicals may be unnecessary for certain sectors of the population, but for many people — especially the poorer and less educated — these may be the only way to ensure that they receive the attention they need. Which lab tests should be routinely ordered as part of a physical is an entirely different issue.

Andrew Jardine
October 26, 2015

A regular health check up is always required and necessary for everyone. And for old people it is strongly recommended. There may be many medical problems that may arise suddenly in case of elderly. Assisted living in morris county NJ provides facility of regular medical check up for seniors.

November 29, 2015

“Copy Paste” response is bnlrliait but he would do well not to plagiarise other peoples responses!!!!!!!!The fact is that exposure to microwave radiation for extended periods may well cause certain cancers to occur. They may also cause cataracts, birth defects and other serious health problems including nervous system damage, headaches, and pacemaker interference.However, new ovens are typically designed so as not to exceed 1mW/cm2 of radiated power. In addition, any leak that exceeds 5mW/cm2 at a distance of 2 inches from a microwave oven is considered to be dangerous and the oven should not be used. Ovens can deteriorate over time and should be checked to ensure that these limits are not exceeded.This can be done by your local service centre or you can purchase an earth leakage detector and have it on hand to keep a regular maintenance check of your oven. If an oven is in good condition then it would present no more risk then anything else around your home such as eating processed food, using mobile phones, living near HV power lines, or living in your house which exposes you to electromagnetic radiation from the electrical wiring. Also, as I had indicated in an earlier posting;the other aspect and some area of concern is the safety of eating foods from a microwave. This really depends on the containers used to heat the food in. Some plastics, for instance, are more prone to the effect of “migration”. whereby some additives used in plastics are more likely to migrate to foods more than others. The main concern in the past has been in connection with plasticisers which are used to improve the flexibility of some packaging materials. As the tendency for plasticisers to migrate increases at higher temperatures, only those plastics specifically designed for oven use are suitable for cooking. To reduce any possible risk one should;* Use only microwave-safe utensils.* While some packaging films may be labelled ‘microwave-safe’ care should be taken to avoid direct contact with the food when using them to cover containers or to reheat dinners on plates.* As migration is more likely to occur into hot fatty foods, glass containers are a suitable choice for heating these products. As yet there are no standards for claims such as “microwave safe”; if you are in doubt as to the safety of such materials contact the manufacturer or use a ceramic/glass alternative.In the end, I guess time will tell as to what other possible adverse effects, microwave ovens may have on our lifes!

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