This is a quick slacky vacation post to throw you all off guard. Is she here? Is she gone? What's up with that? Guess we really should check in every day!
Anyway, so a new study is out questioning the medical benefits of an annual physical exam. Apparently they're not really worth the cost most of the time, especially since preventative care can be delivered during other office visits. The article noted that most people came in for other medical visits during the year anyway.
The study's author said: "Although annual exams are not recommended by any major North American clinical organization, our health system is clearly devoting a great deal of time, money and resources to them."
On the other hand, they said "preventive physicals and preventive gynecological exams were the most common venue for evidence-based preventive services like mammograms and Pap smears." What the heck does that mean? So should Crabby keep seeing her very nice gynecologist every year but stop feeling guilt when she 'forgets' yet again to schedule a physical? Crabby should probably dig around for the real study rather than the summary, but this is not a real post and she's not really here so she'll leave that for more diligent health news reporters to do.
According to their numbers, 21% of Americans got a physical, while about while about 18% of women went in for a preventive gynecological exam. This apparently cost bazillions of dollars that could have been better spent on other things. The average physical lasted 23 minutes and cost $116, including related laboratory and radiology services.
Interestingly enough, a person who lived in the Northeast was 60 percent more likely to get a physical than someone who lived in the West.
Crabby thinks common sense should prevail here--a young healthy person without much worrisome family history should probably not be hauled in every year for a morning spent reading ancient magazines, an chance to model an ugly paper gown, and the opportunity to pee in a cup (or all over her hand, if she's got bad aim. TMI? Sorry). On the other hand, it's probably not a good idea to play hooky from the Doctor's office indefinitely, especially if you're getting on in years, have no idea what your cholesterol or other important numbers look like, and have family members who are in the habit of dropping dead at young ages.
Crabby always thinks of herself as the first sort of person, the healthy youngster, who doesn't really need to bother coming in unless she's sick (which she pretty much never is). But actually, she's getting to be more like person two, the middle-aged Doctor Avoider who should Get her Butt in for a Checkup Someday. So a physical is now at least on her to-do list.
So do you folks get physicals every year? Ever? Do you go to your ob/gyn if you have that particular set of equipment? Any thoughts or opinions on medical care generally or anything else on your minds?
(And Crabby hasn't forgotten about Crab Facts. Stay tuned... for those who actually care, some may be coming along any day now!)