HOUSTON (KIAH) — A group of physicians have some surprising advice for you – not everyone needs a yearly comprehensive exam. Typically, recommendations say adults need a complete physical exam and blood work. But now, the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) released a list of specific tests or procedures that are commonly ordered but may not be necessary. 

“When you talk about unnecessary testing, you can often have false positive results. And when you have false positive results, that can lead to more testing, patients worry,” said David Liss, PhD is a researcher with Northwestern Medicine. Dr. Liss helped write the updated guidelines from SGIM.   

The group updated their guidance and identified five target recommendations  The list identifies five targeted, evidence-based recommendations that can support conversations between patients and physicians about what care is really necessary. 

So, who should get annual check-ups?

  • People ages 65 and older
  • Those who are overdue for recommended preventive care
  • Patients at high risk of undiagnosed chronic illness
  • Those who rate their health as poor or fair

Basic tests and preventive screenings that are recommended for healthy or asymptomatic patients:

  • Blood pressure regularly checked
  • Body mass index assessed
  • Have your blood glucose and lipid levels checked every three to five years

All patients are recommended to:

  • Stay up-to-date on vaccinations
  • Receive scheduled cancer screenings, including colonoscopies, cervical cancer screenings, and a mammography for women.

To see the complete list of the five targeted recommendations, go to ChoosingWisely.org.