Think of a physical exam as a way for your doctor to check in on your body systems and ensure they are functioning properly. Physical exams are both necessary and useful because they give your healthcare provider an accurate assessment of your overall health and allow them to catch any health problems early. If you have not had a physical exam in more than a year or are wondering about the process, here is everything you need to know about getting a physical exam in Bakersfield.
Why Are Annual Physical Exams Performed?
As mentioned, a physical exam helps your healthcare provider gauge your general health status. It is also an opportunity for you to discuss any health concerns you might have with them, including any symptoms or ongoing pains you might be experiencing. Generally, physical exams are performed at least once a year and are usually used to:
- Identify possible medical concerns
- Test for certain conditions so they can be treated early
- Update your immunizations
- Check your exercise routine and diet
Your doctor will check your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels during your physical exam. Checking your levels is especially important because such issues might not always show any symptoms and early screening allows for proper treatment before the condition becomes severe.
Preparing for a Physical Exam
By preparing adequately for your physical exam, you can ensure that you get the most out of the session and get all your concerns addressed. Always prepare the following when going in for your exam:
- A list of any ongoing pains or symptoms you are experiencing
- A list of all the medications and supplements you are currently taking
- Your surgical and medical history
- Recent tests and their results
- Any questions you would like your doctor to answer
- A copy of the device card for any implanted devices you might have, such as a pacemaker
- The contact details of any physicians you have seen recently
It is also recommended that you dress simply and comfortably and avoid things that could hinder the doctor’s access to your body. This includes heavy clothing, makeup, and jewelry.
How Are Physical Exams Performed?
Typically, your physical exam will begin with a one-on-one session with your healthcare provider, where they ask you a series of questions about your medical history, medications, underlying health conditions, allergies, and the like. They will also ask you about your lifestyle, diet, exercise routine, and alcohol consumption or smoking habits.
Next, they will examine your eyes, ears, throat, and nose using a bright light, followed by an assessment of your skin for any growths or moles. Later, you will be asked to lie down on a table as your doctor checks the location and size of your organs. They might order an MRI or X-ray if anything is amiss.
Your doctor will then listen to your respiratory rate, conduct a prostate or breast exam (depending on gender), and test your reflexes. They might also update your shots and order some tests.
Physical exams are an integral part of preventative care because they help your doctor catch all possible problems early and keep you healthy. If you are ready for your physical exam, contact StatMD to schedule an appointment with Ravinderjit Singh, MD, a family medicine and urgent care specialist. Use the online scheduler or call the Bakersfield, California office today.