Periodic health examination

Since 86% of the population visit a general practitioner at some stage of the year, 3 and these people visit about five times each year (on average), GPs are in an ideal position to develop strategies for a periodic health examination. An emphasis should be placed on the history in addition to the physical examination and related basic investigations.

As for any smooth-running quality professional program, it is important to be organised with prepared practice staff, checklists and record systems. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has developed a College Record System, which has several leaflets covering all approaches to the patient 'check-up'. 17

The following guidelines for the periodic health examination are adapted from those recommended by the Preventive and Community Medicine Committee of the RACGP. 17 This represents appropriate screening at the front line of primary health care.

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