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Chart & Stethoscope



Physical Exams Q & A

Why is it important to have an annual physical exam?

Having an annual physical exam provides an ongoing record of health and wellness that can be used to spot subtle changes that may be an indication of an underlying disease. Plus, yearly exams ensure patients receive the care and medical guidance they need based on their age, lifestyle and other factors, including recommended health screenings, lab work, immunizations and lifestyle guidance. And of course, seeing the doctor each year provides patients with the chance to discuss their health-related concerns.


What happens during a general physical exam?

General physical exams begin with a complete personal and family health history to look for disease risk factors and other issues that can help guide care. Next, weight and blood pressure are measured and recorded, and the heart and lungs will be evaluated using a stethoscope. Exams of the ears and throat will also be performed, and the belly will be gently palpated to look for areas of tenderness or swelling. Depending on each patient's risk factors and gender, other assessments may also be used during the exam. Lab work may be ordered before or during the exam. Finally, recommendations will be made based on the exam findings and patients will have a chance to discuss their concerns and ask questions.


What is a sports physical?

Sports physicals are exams aimed at ensuring athletes are healthy enough to participate in specific physical activities, including school sports.

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