October 16, 2013 • Respond
According to a 2012 Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis, periodic general health checks do not reduce morbidity or mortality (BMJ 2012;345:e7191). "Since health checks probably increase the number of diagnoses, the absence of benefits suggests overdiagnosis and overtreatment," states the paper. "Current use of general health checks is not supported by the best available evidence."
So why is this practice so prevalent in Canada then? I'm genuinely interested in arguments for and against - throughout my training here I'm hoping to reconcile common practice with best evidence so I can decide how to apply this in my own practice.