For those of us who still need to call our moms to make our doctor’s appointments, this is good news. Turns out the “yearly check-up” we all know and put off might not be as mandatory as we once thought. This is a part of a growing movement of doctors who believe that getting a physical every year has no effect on the most common diseases and ailments that patients run into over the course of their lives. When something is wrong, that’s when you go get things checked out. Most other check-ups are redundant.
This news comes after a study that randomized participants into two groups: yearly check-ups and non-yearly check-ups. They found that those who did not partake in annual check-ups were no less healthy than those who did. It begs the question: Are annual trips to the doctor, when nothing is wrong, just a waste of time and money? Dr. Christine Laine, senior vice president of the American College of Physicians, thinks so:
It’s not that doctors want to get rid of the system altogether, but that they want to stop wasting resources on those who don’t need it and instead target those who do. Dr. Ateev Mehrotra, of Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, explains:
When there are countless people out there without access to healthcare, it seems downright wasteful to keep dedicating valuable medical time and resources to people who aren’t even sick. Obviously, it’s important to be aware of your health, and you should never put off going to the doctor because you’re afraid of being a burden. This is just saying that next time you have to set your alarm early to go to your yearly physical the next morning, and you’re feeling absolutely fine, maybe just sleep in.
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