Physicians have lead individuals to believe "a test can't hurt," however researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and the Institute of Medicine, begs to differ. Not only can many exams carry their own risks and create unnecessary anxiety, but also it is estimated that nearly $210 billion are wasted on unnecessary medical services.

According to Dr. Kenny Lin, assistant professor at Georgetown University and associate editor of American Family Physicians, individuals should conduct their own research before consenting to another health check.

Here are a few overused medical exams to be aware of:

Electrocardiogram (EKG) is used to determine and record the heart's electrical activity. It also generates referrals to cardiologist, which also generates an inflow of cash. According to U.S. Preventive Service Task Force, the EKG cannot prevent heart problems. It is more likely to give a false positive activity. In addition to a false activity, physicians are obligated to preform follow up exams for abnormal results. The only time this exam should be considered is if you have cardiac symptoms, such as chest pains, shortness of breath, fainting, etc.

X-rays or MRIs are used to identify lower back pain, but according to Lin it does not demonstrate why your back pain is persistent. For many healthy patients back pain usually improves over time on its own. However, if your pain last more than six weeks and you are having other symptoms in your leg or bladder, then you should contact your health care provider.

Urinalysis is used to check for bladder infections and kidney problems. Blood Panels are used to check the cholesterol levels. Urinalysis is a sensitive exam that leads to ultrasounds and frequent visits to the urologist. As for blood panels, Lin believes there is no need to check an individual's cholesterol level every year if it has already been determined normal. It is necessary to get a urinalysis once you have any symptoms of infections. An individual may get yearly blood tests if he or she is on a statin or has dramatically changed his or her diet.

Dental X-ray checks for cavities and/or gum disease, it can also expose patients to radiation that may cause brain tumors. According to researchers from the University of Minnesota, patients should ask for a thyroid collar and lead apron to lower the amount of radiation one is exposed to.

Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) is used to identify prostate cancer before any symptoms are present. The U.S. Preventive Service Task Force found the exam does not save lives. It does, however, include invasive and painful biopsies. Men should consider this exam after seriously weighing his options and speaking to his health care provider.

The next time your health care provider tries to spring one of these so called yearly "checkup" remember to get the facts and be aware of your current health to determine if you really need it.