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March 25, 1983

Medical Evaluations of Healthy Persons

Author Affiliations

From the Council on Scientific Affairs, Division of Scientific Activities, American Medical Association, Chicago.

JAMA. 1983;249(12):1626-1633. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330360066040

HOW OFTEN should a healthy person be examined by a physician, and what procedures should the examination include? Are there criteria that can be used in selecting the procedures? Since at least 1923, the American Medical Association has been concerned with such questions. An AMA report in 1947 recommended that a healthy individual more than 35 years old have an annual medical examination, not only to aid in the recognition of adverse environmental factors and habits of living, but also as a way of promoting the person's vigor, physical and mental fitness, and quality of life.1

Realizing that the medical examination of healthy persons remains a matter of current interest and debate, the Council on Scientific Affairs (CSA) decided to reconsider AMA's past recommendations on the subject. The Council also considered the recent comprehensive report by a Canadian Task Force on periodic health examinations,2 reports of the Institute