Physical exam frequencyHow often you need a physical exam; Health maintenance visit; Health screening; Checkup
Even if you feel fine, you should still see your health care provider for regular checkups. These visits can help you avoid problems in the future. For example, the only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have it checked regularly. High blood sugar and high cholesterol levels also may not have any symptoms in the early stages. A simple blood test can check for these conditions.
All adults should visit their provider from time to time, even if they are healthy. The purpose of these visits is to:
- Screen for diseases
- Assess risk of future medical problems
- Encourage a healthy lifestyle
- Update vaccinations
- Maintain a relationship with a provider in case of an illness
Recommendations are based on sex and age:
- Health screening -- women -- age 18 to 39
- Health screening -- women -- age 40 to 64
- Health screening -- women -- over 65
- Health screening -- men -- age 18 to 39
- Health screening -- men -- age 40 to 64
- Health screening -- men -- over 65
Talk with your provider about how often you should have checkups.
Atkins D, Barton M. The periodic health examination. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 15.
Review Date: 4/15/2018
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.