A physical exam is a routine test that checks the basic health indicators in your body. It’s also known as a routine or complete medical examination and is usually done in a doctor’s office or exam room at a hospital or clinic. The doctor can then decide if you need any additional tests, screenings or follow-up care.
The exam consists of looking, feeling and listening to your body. The doctor will ask questions about your symptoms and family medical history, if you have any allergies and what medications or supplements you’re taking. The doctor will also do a quick check of your vital signs like blood pressure and heart rate. They will also examine your ears, eyes, nose, mouth and throat using tools and may listen to your lungs with a stethoscope. In addition, women will get a pelvic exam and pap smear and men will have their prostate, penis and testicles checked.
To finish up, the doctor will take a measurement of your height and weight, check your heart and breathing rates and take your temperature. They will also look at your skin and check for any marks or rashes. The doctor will then check your abdomen for any bulges and feel around your genital area to assess any pain or changes.
Many people have a physical exam for routine health, to update their vaccinations or for a pre-employment screening. It’s a good idea to prepare for the exam so that you can have all your questions answered. This will help make the exam as comfortable and stress-free as possible.