It’s that time of year again! Time to schedule your annual physical exam. Even if you’re feeling healthy and don’t think you need one, it’s important to get a check-up every year. This blog post will provide a checklist of what to expect during your physical exam to be prepared.
Annual Physical Exam Checklist: The Basics
An annual physical exam is always a good idea, no matter how old you are. It’s an opportunity for your doctor to check in on your overall health and catch any potential problems early. And while the specifics of what happens during a physical exam can vary depending on your age, gender, and health history, there are some things you can always expect. Here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect during your annual physical exam.
Here is a checklist of what to expect during your next annual physical exam:
Your doctor will ask about your medical history, family history, current medications, and any symptoms you may be experiencing. The doctor will also ask about your lifestyle habits, such as diet and exercise.
The doctor will check your blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature. They may also check your weight and height.
- Blood Pressure: The doctor will place a cuff around your arm and inflate it. They will then release the air and listen to your pulse. The reading is recorded as two numbers, systolic (the top number) and diastolic (the bottom number).
- Heart Rate: The doctor will place their hand on your chest or wrist to feel your pulse. They will then count the number of beats per minute.
- Temperature: The doctor will use a thermometer to take your temperature. This can be done orally, rectally, or under the arm.
Heart and Lung Exam
Your doctor will listen to your heart and lungs with a stethoscope. This is called auscultation. Depending on what they hear, they may order tests such as an EKG or chest x-ray.
For this exam, your doctor will lightly press on different areas of your abdomen to check for any pain or tenderness. They’ll also check your liver and spleen to see if they’re enlarged.
This exam tests your reflexes, muscle strength, and sensation. Your doctor may also ask you to walk on your toes or heels and do a quick test of your coordination.
Your doctor will check your vision and the pressure inside your eyes for this exam. They’ll also look at the back of your eyes (retina) for any signs of disease.
Ear, Nose, and Throat Exam
Your doctor will look in your ears, nose, and throat for any signs of infection or disease.
Your doctor will check your skin for any abnormal growths, rashes, or changes in color. They may also do a quick check for ticks if you’ve been in an area where they’re common.
For this exam, your doctor will check your arms and legs for any swelling, redness, or pain. They’ll also check your pulses and reflexes.
A small sample of your blood will be taken and sent to a lab for testing. This is usually done to check your cholesterol, triglyceride, and glucose levels.
For this test, you’ll provide a urine sample that will be checked for signs of infection, disease, or abnormal cell growth.
Annual Physical Exam Checklist For Males
For men, there are some specific things that should be checked during an annual physical exam. Here are five important things for men to have checked during their yearly physical exam.
Your doctor will likely perform a testicular exam as part of your annual physical. This is usually a quick and painless procedure.
During the exam, your doctor will feel each of your testicles to check for any lumps or unusual changes in size. They will also check if your testicles are firm and properly anchored in your scrotum.
If you have any concerns about your testicles or experience any pain or changes in size or appearance, be sure to let your doctor know. They can help to determine if there is anything cause for concern.
In most cases, a testicular exam is a quick and easy way to help ensure that your reproductive health is in good shape. So don’t be afraid to ask your doctor about it at your next annual physical.
Testicular cancer is one of the most common cancers in men, and it is important to catch it early. A testicular exam can help to do just that. So if you are feeling any unusual changes, be sure to let your doctor know.
Many people don’t realize that a hernia can be life-threatening if it’s not caught early. That’s why it’s so important to have a doctor check for a hernia during your annual physical exam.
Here’s how the hernia exam works: The doctor will ask you to stand up straight and then feel around your belly button for any lumps or bulges. Next, the doctor will have you cough while they press on your stomach. This is to see if there’s any hernia present. If you have a hernia, the doctor will likely recommend surgery to repair it.
Prostate exams are an important part of an annual physical exam for men. They help screen for prostate cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer death in men.
There are two different types of prostate exams: digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. DRE is when the doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to feel for any abnormalities in the prostate. PSA is a blood test that measures the level of PSA in the blood.
You will be asked to lie on your back with your knees bent during the exam. The doctor will then insert a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum. You may feel pressure or discomfort during this part of the exam, but it should not be painful.
Annual Physical Exam Checklist For Females
For women, there are a few extra items to add to the list. In addition to the standard blood pressure and cholesterol tests, women should also have their Pap test and breast exam performed annually. These tests are important in detecting early signs of cancer and other diseases.
Pap smears are an important part of preventative health care for women. They can detect early signs of cervical cancer, so it’s important to get one every year.
During a pap smear, your doctor will use a speculum to open your vagina and gently collect cells from your cervix. The process is usually quick and relatively painless. After that, the cells will be sent to a lab to be examined for any abnormal changes. Your doctor will follow up with you to discuss the results.
After the procedure, you can go about your day as usual. There’s no need to take any special precautions. You may have some light bleeding or spotting for a day or two afterward, but that’s normal. If you experience anything more than that or have any other concerns, be sure to follow up with your doctor.
A pelvic exam is a physical exam of a woman’s reproductive organs. This exam is usually done as part of a woman’s annual physical exam. The pelvic exam can be done with or without a Pap smear.
The pelvic exam includes an external and internal examination. For the external examination, the doctor will look at the vulva, which is the area around the opening of the vagina. The doctor will also feel the area for any lumps or masses.
For the internal examination, the doctor will insert a gloved, lubricated finger into the vagina. The doctor will then use a speculum, which is a tool that opens the vagina so that the inside can be seen. The doctor will then do a Pap smear, a test for cervical cancer.
The pelvic exam is an important part of a woman’s annual physical exam. It can help to detect problems early when they are most treatable. If you have any questions or concerns about the exam, be sure to talk to your doctor.
A breast examination is part of a physical examination usually performed by a doctor or nurse. The exam can be done on women of any age, but it is especially important for women over 40.
A breast examination aims to check for any changes in the breasts that could be signs of cancer. During the exam, the doctor or nurse will feel the breasts for any lumps, thickening, or changes in texture. They will also look at the breasts for any changes in shape or size.
It is important to remember that most breast changes are not cancerous. However, if you have any concerns about your breast health, be sure to talk to your doctor.
Tips For Your Annual Physical Exam
Annual physical exams are an important way to stay on top of your health. Here are a few tips to make sure you get the most out of yours:
– Schedule your appointment for a time when you can relax and take your time. This way, you won’t feel rushed and will be more likely to ask questions and get all the information you need.
– Come prepared with a list of questions for your doctor. This can help you make the most of your limited time together.
– Be honest about your health – both the good and the bad. This way, your doctor can give you the best possible care.
– Don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion if you’re not comfortable with the care you’re receiving. Your health is important, and you deserve to have peace of mind.
An annual physical exam is an important way to maintain your health. It can help catch problems early and prevent them from becoming serious. If you haven’t had one in a while, make an appointment with us today. You’ll be glad you did!