It depends how you define it, but strictly speaking, no. There are studies that show that people who are seen every year for a complete/comprehensive checkup do not live any longer, over the following 10 or 13 years. The “annual checkup” is being replaced with the periodic health exam. What does that mean?
If you are young and healthy, you probably do not need to see a doctor every year for a complete checkup- but does that mean that you do not need to be seen at all?
-If you are young and healthy, you might want to see a family doctor so that if/when you get sick, someone knows who you are, your background, some of your values on the chance that something might go wrong. Asking about cigarettes, family history risks, and having life style choices reviewed bas benefit. Perhaps every three or five years it might be worthwhile to have your blood pressure checked, you get to know the office routine, and the doctor and his/her staff know who you are.
-If you are sexually active, being seen periodically for STD screening tests or paps tests has value- annually perhaps, and probably more often than every three to five years.
-If you are older than forty, we start screening for diabetes.
-At 50 other tests- bowel cancer tests (annually or every two years), and for women- mammograms, are recommended.
-If you are diabetic, periodic blood sugar control assessments and annual foot and eye exams are recommended.
-if you are on multiple medications for different conditions, assessing side effects, drug interactions, treatment effectiveness has some value. As we age, we may bot metabolize the medication as quickly, and the dose may need to be reduced.
A periodic health exam is a time for many of these items to be addressed, medications reviewed, and for your doctor to look for signs of any other serious illness. Ideally the health overview and recommended screening tests are not lost amid long lists of minor complaints that have been saved up for the past three months.
Seeing the doctor twice a year, once for a sprained ankle and once for a sore throat is not the same as a periodic health exam/review. Seeing acute problems quickly in a busy practice, your doctor may not have the time to be able to go over the recommendations for the things that may be due.