Historical Changes in the Objectives of the Periodic Health Examination

Ann Intern Med. 1997 Nov 15;127(10):910-7. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-127-10-199711150-00010.


Important historical changes have occurred both in the content of the periodic health examination and in the legitimacy with which this examination has been viewed. These changes reflect fundamental shifts in the objectives of the examination and in the concerns of its advocates, the most prominent of whom have been physicians; leaders in the life insurance, private corporate, and prepaid health care industries; and medical expert panels. The shifting dominance of concerns has driven the development of the periodic health examination, and continual reassessment of the value and limitations of the examination is warranted.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health / history
  • Insurance, Life / history
  • Physical Examination / history*
  • Physical Examination / trends
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • United States