Physical exams include an array of evaluations aimed at assessing overall health and identifying diseases and other medical issues in their earliest stages so treatment can be provided. Physicals begin with a detailed personal and family medical history and a review of any symptoms the patient may be experiencing. Next, the doctor or nurse will take the patient's weight and blood pressure readings. During the exam itself, the doctor will use a stethoscope to listen to the heart and lungs, gently palpate the belly and neck to look for areas of swelling or tenderness, and evaluate the ears and throat. Additional evaluations may be performed based on the patient's risk factors. Once the exam is complete, the patient will receive recommendations for additional evaluations or medical treatments and lifestyle guidance will be provided to help the patient enjoy optimal health.
Physical exams should be performed every 12 months. Having an annual physical exam provides an ongoing record of a patient's health that can help the doctor identify subtle signs and symptoms associated with diseases so treatment can be provided as early as possible. Annual physicals also ensure patients receive important medical screenings and other care based on their age and evolving medical needs. Plus, seeing a doctor each year provides patients with the chance to discuss health concerns so they can feel confident in their health and their care.
Patients need to be ready to provide a detailed medical history including information about their own health and the health of their close blood relatives to help identify disease risk factors. Having a list of current medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements also can be helpful. If blood tests or other lab work or tests are ordered prior to the exam, patients should be sure to have those tests performed two weeks or so in advance so the results will be ready for review during the exam visit.
Please contact our office at (212) 410-6001 if you have any questions.
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