What is a Clean Bill of Health?

Malcolm Tatum

Receiving a clean bill of health is the goal of every person who seeks to maintain a solid mind and body. The term is used to refer to situations where the individual has been determined to be in free of any major diseases or ailments, and is understood to possess a level of health that is in keeping with the age and circumstances of the person involved. A qualified physician proclaims a clean bill of health, usually after performing any testing and examinations that the doctor deems proper.

A patient may receive a clean bill of health after a physical exam.
A patient may receive a clean bill of health after a physical exam.

A clean bill of health is essentially what each person wants to receive after undergoing a physical examination and any related tests that the doctor believes should be conducted. The exact structure of this check-up will vary based on age, gender, and general health. For example, men over the age of 40 generally must undergo a prostate exam on an annual or semi-annual basis in order to earn a clean bill of health. In like manner, women usually have a Pap smear on a regular basis as part of the general health maintenance.

Women generally undergo a pap smear as part of routine health maintenance.
Women generally undergo a pap smear as part of routine health maintenance.

Obtaining a clean bill of health after undergoing a check-up and any related tests is the goal of both the physician and the patient. When both the physical examination and attention to the mental condition is coupled with acceptable results on any special tests ordered by the doctor, both parties tend to be pleased with the outcome. The patient can rest assured there are currently no pending health issues that could impair the quality of life. At the same time, the physician is assured of the healthy nature of the patient and can turn his or her attention to other patients.

Men over 40 must typically undergo a prostate exam to earn a clean bill of health.
Men over 40 must typically undergo a prostate exam to earn a clean bill of health.

The failure to obtain a fully clean bill of health after a routine examination should not be construed as a sign that good health is lost forever. Regular check-ups can help to identify health issues before they have the chance to develop into life threatening situations. Often, these conditions can be treated with medication, lifestyle changes, or minor surgery. Once the issue is resolved, the physician can provide another examination and if no other issue is discovered, once again declare the individual to have a clean bill of health.

A "clean bill of health" means that the physician has determined that her patient is free of any major diseases or ailments.
A "clean bill of health" means that the physician has determined that her patient is free of any major diseases or ailments.

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