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Annual Physical Rethink

Annual Physical Rethink

December 5, 2018 by Dr Ola Ajisafe0
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Hello,

I have some interesting things to share with you regarding your health. In this era of evidence-based medicine, things are changing and challenging conventional thinking. Now Annual Physical examination has been replaced with Periodic Health Examination.

This means routine testing for every disease is no longer the way to good health as it done annually with annual physical. There is evidence that this does not improve health. Instead, it can discover abnormality in someone who does not have the disease in up to 30 % of the case and this can raise false alarm and in some instance, it can lead to complications.

Periodic health examination means screening for disease only relevant to your age gender, personal history and also preventive health practices with screening and appropriate counseling.

This is also done once a year so you still need to book an appointment for this visit. There are some tests specifically that we will be reviewing before they are ordered.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care call them 6 Tests to Rethink

Optimal timing

  1. Cholesterol levels
    • Low-risk people can be tested every 3-5 years
    • High-risk people tested more frequently
  2. Blood sugar levels
    • Low-risk people can be tested every 3 years
    • High-risk people tested more frequently
  3. Bone densitometry
    • Test people older than 65 years and those with risk factors
    • Any changes between first and second test inform frequency for subsequent tests
    • Low-risk people can be tested every 5-10 years
    • High-risk people tested every 2 years

Change in timing

  1. Cervical cancer screening
    • First Pap smear between 21-25 years
    • Pap smears, can be done every three years  (unless there is an abnormal test) until the age of 70 years.

Only when prompted

  1. Electrocardiogram (ECG)
    • No ECG for low-risk people
    • 30-50% of people with a healthy heart have ECG abnormalities
  2. Thyroid function
    • Test only when there are symptoms  (e.g., sudden onset of fatigue that persists)

These tests will only be ordered according to this guideline moving forward.

It is your responsibility to book for this Periodic health examination and though we try to call to remind, the responsibility is still yours.

Thanks for being part of the Safe care family.

Cheers and wishing you well in this partnership to advance your good health and well being,

Dr Ola Ajisafe 


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