The Physical Exam is the examination that is practiced on everyone in order to recognize the alterations or signs produced by a disease, which is carried out by their primary care provider (PCP), using the senses and small devices or instruments carried with them, such as: clinical thermometer and stethoscope, among the most used.
A PCP can be a doctor, a nurse practitioner, or a physician assistant. The exam is also known as a wellness check. You do not have to be sick to request an exam.
The physical exam can be a good time to ask your PCP questions about your health or discuss any changes or problems you have noticed.
There are different tests that can be done during your physical exam. Depending on your age or medical or family history, your PCP may recommend additional tests.
A physical exam helps your PCP determine your general health. The exam also gives you the opportunity to talk with them about any ongoing pain or symptoms you are experiencing or any other health problems you may have.
A physical exam is recommended at least once a year, especially in people over the age of 50. These tests are used to:
How to get a physical exam?
Your PCP will use a stethoscope, the listening device that doctors often wear around their neck, to listen to various parts of your body. This could include listening to your lungs as you breathe deeply and listening to your intestines.
Your PCP will also use the stethoscope to listen to your heart and make sure there are no abnormal sounds. You will be able to assess your heart and valve function and listen to your heart rhythm during the exam.
Your PCP will also use a technique known as "percussion," which involves playing the body like a drum. This technique helps your PCP discover fluid in areas where it shouldn't be, as well as locate the edges, consistency, and size of organs.
It will measure your height, weight, and pulse (whether it is too slow or too fast).
While you can always contact your PCP as needed, your physical is your private time to ask questions on any health-related topic. If you don't understand any of the tests your PCP performs, feel free to ask questions.