Is a physical exam really necessary?
A physical exam is an important part of maintaining your overall health. When you come in annually, your physical serves a preventive function. The doctors can track changes to your health and determine if you’re at risk for diseases or disorders that could cause long-term complications.
A routine exam is also the time to ensure you’re up to date on all necessary immunizations, renew any prescription medications, and become aware of needed preventive health screenings, such as a mammogram or colonoscopy.
What happens during a physical exam?
You’ll start out by discussing your current health and any concerns or symptoms you may be experiencing. The doctor reviews your health history, including your family health history, to determine what health screenings are most appropriate for you.
A technician and/or the doctor also:
Dr. Wang or Dr. Duke feels your thyroid gland, abdomen, and pelvis externally to evaluate your internal organs for abnormalities.
What blood work is performed at a physical exam?
Routine blood work includes a metabolic panel, blood sugar, and any other tests that are relevant to an existing condition, such as high cholesterol. The blood work not only checks for concerns; it can evaluate whether an existing treatment strategy is working.
You may also undergo regular blood tests if you’re taking a medication that increases your risk for health complications or organ damage.
What should I do to prepare for a physical exam?
It’s a good idea to make a list of your prescription medications and any over-the-counter medications you take regularly and share those with the doctor during your appointment. Write down general health questions and concerns so you don’t forget to cover them at the exam, too.
If you’re having blood work or another test, you’ll be given specific preparation instructions. Some diagnostic testing requires you to fast in advance.
Keep up with your health. Schedule your physical exam at All Care Family Medicine and Urgent Care of Columbia. Call the office or book an appointment while you’re here on the website.