Routine Checkup, 18+

Percentage of adults who report visiting a doctor for routine checkup in the past year

PLACES Project, Centers for Disease Control.
Dashboard-City Average

Why do we measure routine checkups?

Routine checkups are part of a set of preventive health care services that can reduce morbidity and mortality from chronic disease by helping to prevent, identify, and manage health conditions.1 Regular checkups provide continuity of care over time, focus on the whole patient, and support coordination with other parts of the health system, which can improve health and well-being.2

In 2015, approximately two-thirds of U.S. adults reported receiving a routine checkup in the previous year.3 However, a substantial proportion of individuals report difficulty accessing their provider for routine care for many reasons, including lack of transportation, lack of awareness, or lack of health insurance.2,3 Additionally, access to routine care tends to be lower in urban areas with significant economically disadvantaged or non-White populations. Shortages of primary care providers are expected to grow in the coming years.2,4 By being aware of where people are less likely to have access to routine checkups, cities and communities can target policy and programmatic initiatives to increase access and utilization.

How do we measure routine checkups?

This metric measures the proportion of adults age 18 and older who report having visited a doctor for a routine checkup within the previous year. A routine checkup is a visit to a medical provider for a general physical examination, rather than for a specific injury, illness, or condition.

Strengths and Limitations

Strengths of Metric

Limitations of Metric

• This metric captures actual utilization of primary care, not only the availability of providers.

• The metric is available for all adults.

• This metric does not provide information on quality of care or what preventive services are offered during a routine checkup.

• The metric is self-reported and depends on the accuracy of the response of the person surveyed.


Routine checkup is calculated by the following formula:

Routine checkup =

routine checkup formula

For more information on the calculation, please refer to the City Health Dashboard Technical Document.

Data Source

Estimates for this metric are from one year modeled PLACES Project Data (formerly 500 Cities Project) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Multi-year data are available for this metric. For more information, please refer to Using Multi-Year Data: Tips and Cautions

Years of Collection

Data from 2021, 1 year modeled estimate.


  1. CDC. Prevention Measure Definitions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Published December 8, 2020. Accessed August 9, 2021.

  2. Bodenheimer T, Pham HH. Primary Care: Current Problems And Proposed Solutions. Health Affairs. Published online August 2, 2017. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2010.0026.

  3. Pickens CM, Pierannunzi C, Garvin W, Town M. Surveillance for Certain Health Behaviors and Conditions Among States and Selected Local Areas — Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United States, 2015. MMWR Surveill Summ. 2018;67(9):1-90. doi:10.15585/mmwr.ss6709a1.

  4. Corscadden L, Levesque JF, Lewis V, Strumpf E, Breton M, Russell G. Factors associated with multiple barriers to access to primary care: an international analysis. Int J Equity Health. 2018;17(1):28. doi:10.1186/s12939-018-0740-1.

Last updated: July 26, 2023