Should Patients Have Periodic Health Examinations?: Grand Rounds Discussion From Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

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Physicians and patients have come to expect that periodic health examinations (PHEs) are a standard part of comprehensive ongoing medical care. However, considerable research has not demonstrated a substantial benefit of the PHE. Given this lack of benefit and the high total cost of PHE to the health care system, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation and the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) have identified “routine health checks in asymptomatic patients” as something of low value that physicians and patients should question, as a part of the Choosing Wisely campaign. Two discussants review the debate about PHE and consider the value of PHE for a healthy 70-year-old woman who appreciates seeing her physician annually.

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