Ezekiel Emanuel: Healthy People Should Say 'No' to Annual Physicals

Ezekiel Emanuel: Healthy People Should Say 'No' to Annual Physicals

In a Huffington Post interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland that followed up his recent New York Times piece on the same subject, Ezekiel Emanuel exhorted healthy people to say "no" to annual physicals.

Emanuel told the Post that overwhelming data from studies involving tens of thousands of people show that an annual exam makes no difference when it comes to improving health outcomes or extending lives.

"I'm not saying don't go to the doctor when you have a complaint, or if you have an ongoing health problem, like you’ve got diabetes or high cholesterol or high blood pressure or cardiac risk factors," Emanuel told the Post. At the same time, he also emphasized the importance of certain screening exams, like the mammogram, colonoscopy and the pap smear, to overall health.

Emanuel, PhD, MD, MSc, is Penn's Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, and a former advisor for health policy to the White House Office of Management and Budget.