Which Health Shortcuts Are OK?
Waiting a Few Years Between PhysicalsRisk Rating: 1
Depending on your age and sex, as long as you're in good overall health, a yearly physical examination isn't necessary. "What's most important is to have a physician who knows your health and background," says Rick Kellerman, M.D. So if your primary-care doctor is just a random name you plucked out of a directory and you haven't ever spoken at length, schedule an appointment to meet. If you have any health issues, such as hypertension and high cholesterol, your doctor will probably ask to see you again in a few months. If she awards you a clean bill of health, you can wait a few years for your next head-to-toe exam. Talk to your gynecologist or family physician about how often you should come in for a mammogram and a Pap smear. Depending on your age and health history, you can wait anywhere from one to three years between screenings.
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