What should i get checked annually by a doctor? What is a 'check up'

I know what a dental check up is. the dentist checks your teeth for problems so he can correct them early. So i get one every 6 months.

But what is a medical checkup? I am a 24 year old man, what all should i be getting checked annually/biannually/etc?

What does a doctor do in an annual checkup? What all problems does he check for and what are the procedures called.

I’m older than you, but generally, the doc does a blood workup and urine check through the lab to look at cholesterol, blood sugar, PSA (prostate check) and the like. She also checks weight, checks BP, pulse, listens to my heart and lungs, checks for hernia (turn your head and cough), palpates the abdomen, looks in the eyes, ears, nose and throat, and does the dreaded “finger wave”, which checks for enlarged prostate and occult blood in the stool. They may do other tests, based on your lab work. She has never done an EKG or other test of that nature.

To what degree of naked must I get for a checkup?

My doctor just has me strip off my shirt (then drop the pants for the checks down under). Some doctors want you to strip to your shorts. Haven’t had any that want you completely nekkid, although I suppose if they provide a gown…

Sheesh - I always have to get naked for my physical! But I am female so they have to do some extra stuff to me that you guys don’t have to go through.

My doctor’s office has a chart on the wall that tells you what they check for and why by age and sex. It is really important to watch blood pressure and cholesterol and blood sugar as they are silent symptoms that need to be caught as soon as possible.

You can always ask your doctor what he is looking for and why. If he doesn’t want to take the time to explain that to you then you should be looking for another doctor.

A dental checkup involves more than just checking your teeth. It also involves cleaning them, or at least it should.

At age 24 don’t bother with a PSA. What an annual physical involves depends upon your age to some extent, and a PSA is not needed at that age. Moreover, IMHO, you don’t even need an annual physical. Once every 2 or 3 years will suffice.

The degree of undress is depended upon the doctor. You will have to pull down your shorts for a short time for the prostate exam, which the doctor will perform even at age 24. Just to exclude bleeding if nothing else. The doctor will probably also require you to complete the hematoccult exam, which involves dipping a stick in your feces once a day for three days, spreading it on a card, and returning the card with the feces.

Dear Calculus:

The doctor is dedicated like everyone in this world to making a living, that is, money; in his case by telling you what’s wrong with you and offering to fix you up for money. And they are the best salesmen for drug companies and medical equipment manufacturers. They make a lot of money for this establishment and the latter loads them with all kinds of gifts, like conventions abroad, with shopping money to boot.

There are two kinds of doctors, the ones very greedy and the ones not greedy and possessed of a conscience. Both kinds are compelled by the facts of life to look for money; but the second kind are not as obsessive.

That said: you think you need a medical check-up from a doctor…

I assume you are literate, intelligent, possessed of an averagely critical mind, and at present enjoy the use of brain, limbs and organs, enabling you to read and move about, and generally to operate yourself as a living organism.

So, why do you have to go to a doctor for a medical check-up? who is really after making a living. Of course, they belong to those classes of peoples professedly consecrating themselves to expend their time and trouble and gifts for the good of fellow mankind, like preachers and lawyers.

My advice: do your own medical check-up on yourself; ask from folks older and more experienced in life than yourselves, specially people like parents who have brought up other people successfully. Read on medicine and health, but exercise your critical mind. Ask yourself the following questions:

One: Am I living a safe healthy life, no excesses of any kind, no risking of life and limbs? If you answer yes, then you don’t need a medical check-up?

Two: Am I living the Golden Rule, the negative version: “Don’t do to others what you don’t want others to do to you”? If you answer Yes, then you don’t need a medical check-up?

Three: Am I trying everyday to be nice to everyone without lapsing into the attitude of being a professional martyr? Yes means you don’t need a medical check-up.

Four: Are you keeping yourself profitably and enjoyably occupied (make the last one possible when you don’t have to make money for a living)? Yes means you don’t need a medical check-up.

Five: Are you suffering any long-term pain, ache, or discomfort; if so read on medical texts, surf the net; and find out what it could be and look for over the counter remedies from your trusted druggist.

Observe this very important rule: Don’t go to a doctor unless you are the victim of an accident which requires you to undergo surgical or stitching treatment. About #5 above, if the pain, ache, or discomfort compromise your daily routines and common activities, then see a doctor; but choose one that is as general in practice as can be available.

My own observation is that if you see right away a specialist, he will diagnose your trouble as falling in his specialty, and try to convince you to accept his treatment immediately – all in his best medical good faith.

And beware of doctors who prescribe surgical intervention right away or tomorrow at the latest.

My parting message: Do your own check-up, read and observe and ask around. Go to a doctor when you can’t handle your own body’s and mind’s troubles. But always ask from older and more experienced people who are not in the business of making money from you.

If you think that you have the time and money and are willing to take the trouble for doctors to attend to your medical and health needs, then you’d better know the fact that many a healthy person comes out injured irreparably or dead from visits to doctors.

Let’s hear what the doctors have to say about this post from the Undersigned. To their credit, however, I must admit that in an emergency and specially in a life-threatening situation I myself have to see doctors. So, kudos to you guys, doctors, whatsoever notwithstanding.

Susma Rio Sep

I have to disagree with Susma Rio Sep.

I have a very serious kidney disease that was found during a check up when I was 9. The only way they found it was through a urine test as my particular disease has no symptoms you would ‘feel’ (aches, fever, rash, cough, whatever other outward symptom you want to add) without a checkup until you are in renal failure.

Additional symptoms of my disease are high blood pressure and cholesterol - 2 other medical problems that tend to not manifest themselves outwardly until you have a heart attack or stroke or angina attack.

I know doctors (like every other person on the planet) need to make a living to keep themselves fed and clothed and the like. They are not all shysters. If you feel one doctor is overdiagnosing you or not treating you properly - find another! But do not ignore medical checkups as totally unnecessary as long as you feel ok!

If you are a healthy 24 y.o.r man with no strong family history of illness you more likely to suffer as a result of a “annual complete physical exam” than to benefit from it.

But this is a complicated issue. For a good summary of the evidence, you can read what the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care has to say at http://www.ctfphc.org/. Under “Men 21-64 Years of Age” you will find that very few screening tests are recommended for healthy people under 50 unless they are at high risk for something (e.g., prostitutes whose sex partners do not use condoms should be screened for gonorrhea). As a 24 year old male you won’t benefit from much besides a blood pressure check.

A nice and brief article on physical exams appeared in the March 1999 issue of POSTGRADUATE MEDICINE. The author quotes Paul Frame (1995): “The [complete physical examination] has outlived its usefulness and should be allowed to die a natural death. It should be replaced by a program of evidence-based, selective, longitudinal health maintenance routinely offered to all members of the practice.” The author also give the example of recent (1995) recommendations from the United States Preventive Services Task Force: “For instance, in a 35-year-old man, recommendations are to screen blood pressure, height, weight, and total cholesterol and to counsel on substance abuse, injury prevention, smoking cessation if appropriate, diet, and exercise.”