What is the Purpose of a Complete Physical Exam?
A physical examination gives a more in-depth look at your overall health and wellness. These exams are an effective way to check cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels which do not show signs or symptoms of being too high without a proper screening. A complete physical exam will also provide the opportunity to discuss with your doctor any ongoing pain or symptoms that you might be experiencing or any other health concerns or questions that you might have. Other reasons for having a complete physical exam include:
- Updating necessary immunizations
- Checking for possible diseases so they can be treated early
- Identifying any issues that may become medical concerns in the future
- Ensuring that you are maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine
- Building a relationship with your doctor
How Should I Prepare For a Physical Exam?
It is recommended that a physical exam be done on a yearly basis to stay up-to-date with your medical history. If you are over 50, talk with your healthcare provider about setting up a schedule for your exam as it may be necessary to have a physical more often with advanced age. Proper preparation on the day of your physical examine includes being prepared in advance by gathering the following for you physician:
- List of current medications you take, including over-the-counter drugs and any herbal supplements
- List of any symptoms or pain you are expecting
- Results from any recent or relevant tests
- Medical and surgical history
- Names and contact information for other doctors you may have seen recently
- If you have an implanted device, such as a pacemaker or defibrillator, bring a copy of the front and back of your device card
- Any additional questions you would like answered
How is a Physical Examination Performed?
Before the actual physical exam, you will be asked a series of questions about your medical history, including any allergies, past surgeries, or symptoms you might have. You might also be asked about your lifestyle, including if you exercise, smoke, or drink alcohol. The exam itself will include inspecting your body for any unusual marks or growths. A stethoscope may be used to listen and evaluate your heart to make sure there are no abnormal sounds. Dr. Ohadi will also check your height, weight, and pulse. Throughout the exam, it is important to communicate with your provider on any concerns you may be experiencing.