A physical is a routine examination that your primary care doctor (PCP) performs to check your overall health. A comprehensive physical examination will usually include a review of the patient’s medical history, a general assessment of the body, and specific tests or procedures, as needed.
A physical consists of a thorough physical exam that can help the doctor determine where you are health-wise. Based on the results of your physical, the doctor can identify risk factors for future health problems and pick up on early signs of disease. This allows you the opportunity to receive early treatment for medical conditions, which can improve your health outcomes.
A physical is an important part of preventative health care. Your primary care doctor will advise you on how many times you should get a physical exam, but once a year is most commonly recommended.
Let’s talk about what goes on during a physical exam.
How Doctors Perform Physical Exams
A physical exam usually includes a review of your medical history. The medical history portion of the exam will typically involve questions about your family medical history, personal medical history, current symptoms, and medications you are on. The doctor may also ask about lifestyle habits such as diet, exercise, alcohol intake, and tobacco use. This information helps the doctor assess each individual’s risk for developing certain diseases or conditions.
Next, the doctor will do a general assessment of the body, which includes checking vital signs (temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration rate) and performing a head-to-toe physical examination. During this portion of the exam, the doctor may check for any abnormal lumps or swellings, listen to heart and lung sounds with a stethoscope, and palpate (feel) various organs to check for abnormalities.
Depending on what is found during this initial assessment, additional testing may be necessary. For example, if there is concern about heart disease, an electrocardiogram (EKG) might be ordered, or if there are indications of respiratory problems, chest X-rays might be recommended.
After all pertinent information has been gathered through a medical history review, a general physical examination, and diagnostic testing, the doctor will discuss the findings and answer any questions you may have about your health, and provide guidance on how you can best care for yourself, stay healthy, and lower your risk of disease.
Primary Care Doctor in The Bronx, NY
If you are looking for a primary care doctor in The Bronx, choose the providers at Starling Diagnostics. We offer comprehensive primary care services that include diagnostic testing, health screenings, annual physicals, state-of-the-art treatments, and chronic disease management – all in a family-friendly, patient-centric environment. We strive to provide a comfortable and positive experience for all our patients. For any questions or to schedule an appointment with one of our primary care doctors, call our office today at (718) 319-1610 or use our convenient online request form. Our friendly staff looks forward to serving you.