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What Does a Physical Exam Consist Of?

Mar 01, 2023
What Does a Physical Exam Consist Of?
Physical exams are an essential piece of your preventive health care plan. But what really goes on during these annual doctor visits? Find out what to expect at your exam and why it’s so important to go every year.

A physical exam is a comprehensive evaluation of your overall health. This essential part of your preventive care plan helps identify potential health issues early, so you can get the care you need to enjoy optimal wellness.

Unfortunately, we know that scheduling annual doctor’s appointments often falls to the bottom of everyone’s to-do list — especially when you don’t feel sick. That’s why, at Better Health Management, our team of advanced practitioners aims to make it easy.

We specialize in comprehensive physical exams for men and women, along with customized chronic disease management. If it’s been a while since your last physical, here’s what you need to know.

What’s included in your physical exam

Although these doctor appointments are called physical exams, they include a lot more than examining your body. Our team conducts a complete evaluation of your health, meaning your exam may include the following components:

Medical history

We start by taking a complete medical history. We ask about any past or current medical conditions, medications or supplements you are currently taking, and family history of health issues.

Vital signs

Next, we measure your vital signs. This includes your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and body temperature. These measurements provide insight into your body's overall functioning, and they’re one of the best ways to detect underlying health conditions like high blood pressure.

Physical examination

During your physical, we examine your body for any pain, injury, or other abnormalities. Typically, we check your eyes, head, and neck, heart and lungs, abdomen, extremities, and skin.

Screenings and lab tests

We may also recommend various screenings or tests based on your age, sex, and medical history. These tests can include blood work or urine tests for chronic diseases, prostate exams for men, and breast exams, pelvic exams, and Pap smears for women.

These tests provide valuable insight into your health. They can help detect underlying health issues early on and monitor the effectiveness of any ongoing treatments for chronic conditions.

What to expect at your physical exam

It’s important to get physical exams regularly, even if you feel healthy. We recommend yearly exams for most people, but you may need more frequent appointments if you’re managing a chronic disease like diabetes or heart disease.

Annual physical exams typically take about an hour. We review your medical history and ask about any current concerns or symptoms you may have. After taking your vital signs, we do your physical exam and order additional tests as needed.

At the end of your appointment, we review our findings with you. We can provide guidance and lifestyle recommendations, such as nutrition, exercise, and stress management, to ensure you enjoy optimal health.

Depending on the results of your physical exam and lab tests, we may recommend treatment to address health issues, order further tests to determine a diagnosis, or refer you to a specialist for additional care.

Annual physical exams are critical to maintaining your wellbeing, and our team at Better Health Management makes it simple. Contact our Lower Manhattan office in New York City at 332-237-4647 or request an appointment online today.