The number, age, and medical complexity of patients undergoing elective noncardiac surgery is rising worldwide. Internists, family physicians, and midlevel providers asked to perform preoperative medical evaluations. However, lack of consensus has led to wide variation in practice in what is included and addressed in these evaluations, and the efficacy of these assessments has been debated. The intended purpose of the evaluation seems to be universally accepted as aiming to assess and identify risks associated with the patient's comorbid medical conditions and the specific surgical procedure. The goal is to minimize those risks. Herein, we propose a systematic approach to the preoperative medical evaluation based on the best available evidence and expert opinion, with an emphasis on identifying all potentially pertinent patient- and surgery-specific risk factors.
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