Annual Physicals, Do We Still Need Them?
In these unfortunate times of Covid-19 we are constantly re-evaluating how we are providing health care to our patients. Previously many of our patients would book an annual physical with myself or their family physician to review their health status and their concerns.
However currently due to this pandemic, we are trying to discourage our patients from having in person appointments and instead schedule virtual or phone appointments.
Thus, this leaves many of you with the question of when will I have my annual medical that I normally have?
Upon review of the current guidelines on annual physicals it has become apparent that we need to change how we provide health care to our patients.
The current recommendations from Choosing Wisely Canada are that most people should only schedule a test or examination if they have symptoms or risk factors. Research has shown that annual checkups do not help you live longer, and unfortunately unnecessary tests can cause problems.
Choosing Wisely Canada is the national voice for reducing unnecessary tests and treatments in health care.
For example, if you request to have blood work when it is not needed and you have a false positive test result, this can lead to undo anxiety and further treatments or testing.
We still are doing preventive in person appointments for cancer screening, prenatal and well-baby care and immunizations during this time.
We still are ordering labs on our patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
Please make a phone or virtual appointment with your health care provider to discuss whether you need to have an in person visit or are due for blood work. We care about your health concerns, but we also need to keep our patients safe.