Friday, January 04, 2008
Don't feel too bad if you missed having your annual physical exam with your doctor last year. In fact, no major North American clinical organization actually recommends doing an annual checkup. US News and World Report says that annual physicals might very well be a waste of your money and time, in the minds of many doctors.
The good thing about doing an annual checkup is that the doctor might find something that can be looked into further before it progresses. However, the bad aspects of the annual physical seem to outweigh the good: a) it costs money and time that are usually a waste, b) there is an excellent chance that there will be false positives for conditions you don't have, causing stress and more money and c) most diseases are caught when patients come in for other minor ailments anyway.
It's up to you. I haven't done annual physical exams with Western medical doctors for many years. I use a naturopathic physician and she has a more natural protocol that I prefer. To me, the false positives issue with Western medical tests is enough of a deterrent to keep me away from doing annual physicals.