The full content of Annals is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >
Medicine and Public Policy |

Unanswered Questions about the Periodic Health Examination

[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

Grant support: National Health grant 215-6204, Health and Welfare, Canada.

Presented in abbreviated form at the Symposium on the Periodic Health Examination sponsored by the American Federation for Clinical Research, Atlantic City, New Jersey, 3 May 1975.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Walter O. Spitzer, M.D., Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, 1200 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4J9, Canada.

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Ann Intern Med. 1975;83(2):257-263. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-83-2-257
Text Size: A A A

The periodic health examination in its application as a screening procedure in asymptomatic, ostensibly healthy persons is explored with a focus on the following issues: (a) the impact on health, (b) the content of a beneficial health examination, and (c) the effect of the examination on the physician-patient relation. The application discussed is distinct from use of the examination as a tool for diagnosis, prognosis, or therapeutic planning for patients with a specific illness. The discussion also shows a relatively recent change in the goal for the clinical assessment. There has been a shift in emphasis from establishing a diagnosis as the main outcome event of the periodic "checkup" to the identification of an intervention of value to the patient. Evidence from various studies that throw some light on related questions is considered. Special ethical issues surrounding the unsolicited medical assessment are identified. Finally, some ground rules for decisions about the periodic health examination are proposed.





Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Submit a Comment/Letter
Submit a Comment/Letter

Summary for Patients

Clinical Slide Sets

Terms of Use

The In the Clinic® slide sets are owned and copyrighted by the American College of Physicians (ACP). All text, graphics, trademarks, and other intellectual property incorporated into the slide sets remain the sole and exclusive property of the ACP. The slide sets may be used only by the person who downloads or purchases them and only for the purpose of presenting them during not-for-profit educational activities. Users may incorporate the entire slide set or selected individual slides into their own teaching presentations but may not alter the content of the slides in any way or remove the ACP copyright notice. Users may make print copies for use as hand-outs for the audience the user is personally addressing but may not otherwise reproduce or distribute the slides by any means or media, including but not limited to sending them as e-mail attachments, posting them on Internet or Intranet sites, publishing them in meeting proceedings, or making them available for sale or distribution in any unauthorized form, without the express written permission of the ACP. Unauthorized use of the In the Clinic slide sets will constitute copyright infringement.


Buy Now for $42.00

to gain full access to the content and tools.

Want to Subscribe?

Learn more about subscription options

Related Articles
Topic Collections
Forgot your password?
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.