Fri
Oct 16 2015
07:46 am

I am at that age where insurance says we'd better get an annual physical. The results have always been the same..."Lose 20 pounds." Other than that, the poking puncturing and prodding don't amount to any change in the way I go about life. I've always wondered if the anxiety of going to the doctor isn;t more harmful than anything they might find, given that I have no symptoms of anything except the normal challenges of the calendar?

That's the big question. Now, an Op-Ed in the NY Times by Harvard Doctors says the annual physical is outdated...

(link...)

Yes, IMHO, annual physicals

Yes, IMHO, annual physicals are a good thing. Problems can be caught before they become bigger issues. We may feel okay but something may be building that a doctor will detect and we do not.

Do you feel tired? Yeah, maybe. I generally don't worry about being a little tired, but it could be a thyroid, heart,lung, etc. problem.

Are you eating and drinking more sweets but don't realize it? Are you losing weight and thinking how great it is? Could be a diabetes problem.

Also, I think it is good to build a relationship with a doctor. Do you like him/her? Do you like the facilities he/she is affiliated with?

I have been glad I get regular physicals. I have to admit I probably didn't start getting regular physicals until I was about 40. My doctor makes me feel good and cared for. I could be wrong when it comes time for me to encounter something serious. I hope not.

Necessary evil

I get a physical each year, mainly because prescriptions are not written for an infinite period of time any longer. There are the "guidelines" that come into play, and in my case usually end up with yet another pill to take, follow up bloodwork etc. But in the bigger picture, if I have a concern, I can pick up the phone and call my doctor's office. Since I am seen on a somewhat regular basis, they can address the problem promptly because they know my history. So, yes, get your annual physical.

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