And she wrote about her reasons in the New York Times
Sounds like a good idea to me. Since learning to take charge of my health in 2003, I too, have not had a single routine physical exam. Oh, I’ve been to the doctor—like back in late 2010 when I completely severed my Achilles tendon while playing tennis on a grass court for the first time in my life.
Fortunately for me, I learned how to take charge of my own health right about the time I discovered that the third leading cause of death in this country was “going to the doctor.” Yep, it’s right up there with cancer and heart disease.
On June 2, Elizabeth Rosenthal, M.D., published an article (See link below) entitled, Let’s (Not) Get Physicals, leading off:
FOR decades, scientific research has shown that annual physical exams — and many of the screening tests that routinely accompany them — are in many ways pointless or (worse) dangerous, because they can lead to unneeded procedures. The last few years have produced a steady stream of new evidence against the utility of popular tests.
After admitting that she had not had a routine physical herself since 1989, she went on to describe why doctors everywhere continue to conduct them:
“If you ask gynecologists why they still do yearly Pap smears they’ll say things like: Patients expect it; It keeps patients coming back; It’s what we do in an OB-GYN visit.”
In the United States, most doctors and hospitals profit more by doing more, and prices are particularly high for tests and scans.
The Big Picture Cost: Quoting directly from the article; “The United States spends about twice as much per person as other developed countries on health care, generally without better results. A 2009 study of waste in the United States health care system pointed to “unwarranted use of medical care” — unneeded, unproven or redundant diagnosis or treatment — as the biggest single component, accounting for $250 billion to $325 billion a year.”
Readers weigh in. At the end of the article, as of 6-4-12, there were 272 comments and, as you might expect, many were anecdotes that reinforced the need for the annual physical. An example:
During my annual physical, my physician discovered a flutter and problem in my heart. Had I not taken the annual physical, I would not have known and been at risk of a stroke similar to the one that killed my father, grandfather and two uncles.
I’ll play it safe and continue my annual physicals.
The Bottom Line. As long as people continue to eat our disease-promoting toxic western diet, it’s probably a good idea to continue getting a routine examination every few years. But once an individual learns how to REALLY take charge of their health with superior nutrition, there are more reasons NOT to get that examination.
Remember the third leading cause of death—going to the doctor—whether for “physicals” or for routine screenings such as colonoscopies, P.S.A. tests or mammograms.
For your convenience, I have included a few of my recent blog posts that are related to this topic—along with a link to the NY Times article:
- A recent blog on this ubiquitous procedure. Are you a colonoscopy customer?
- Preventive Care—what does that term mean to you?
- Oz shares colon story; “cancer screening $$ business” gets bigger
- The New York Times article: Let’s (Not) Get Physicals
Handy 3-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com
- The movie that’s changing the lives of millions: Forks Over Knives DVD
- Our book: Healthy Eating, Healthy World by yours truly & son
- An essential nutrition resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey. It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to email@example.com
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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.
—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation