General Physical Exam for Adults in Miami
A physical examination is done to assess how a patient’s body is functioning. The exam is done when a patient is symptomatic or at a routine appointment. The exam can be performed to assist in diagnosing a specific problem or to assess general health. Oftentimes a patient may not be experiencing any outward symptoms but a physical exam will detect a problem. This is why it is important to stay on top of your health and have routine examinations done.
How often do you need a physical exam?
Your physical examination requirements will vary based on your age, sex, and risk factor for disease. Having a comprehensive physical exam performed on each patient gives the doctor a baseline of the patient’s health.
How is a physical exam performed?
While every doctor may have a slightly different methodology, the routine physical exam is composed of the examiner taking an oral medical history and the hands-on examination.
What to Expect During a Standard Physical Exam
During the hands-on portion of the exam, the patient’s vital signs will be taken: blood pressure, pulse, and temperature. The doctor also measures the patient’s height and weight. The doctor will assess the patient’s overall appearance and note any abnormalities. The physician will then examine each part of the body separately.
The doctor first examines the patient’s eyes with a lighted instrument called an ophthalmoscope. The ears are also examined using an otoscope. The doctor will be looking at the inner ear and outer ear. He can also check inside the nostrils with the otoscope. Using a penlight and a tongue depressor, the doctor will examine the mouth and the throat. Depending on what the patient has come in for, a routine exam or a specific concern, the doctor may perform all of these exams or only some.
The next area that the doctor will examine is typically the chest. The physician will use a stethoscope to listen to the patient’s breathing. The doctor places the stethoscope on the patient’s chest and back and then asks the patient to take a deep breath in and out. The doctor may also examine the chest using his hands. The doctor uses different techniques such as: palpation – examination by touch, percussion – examination by tapping, and auscultation – examination by listening.
For the next portion of the exam, the patient lies down on the examination table. The doctor will examine the patient’s abdomen and internal organs. By using the palpation, percussion, and auscultation, the doctor is able to assess the liver, spleen, kidneys, and aorta. The doctor will also do a visual examination of the legs to try and find any swelling or other abnormalities.
Physical Male Examination
In a male examination, the doctor will check the testicles for lumps, tenderness, and changes in size. Typically, a man with testicular cancer will notice a growth before meeting with his doctor. The doctor will also check the penis for any warts or signs of a sexually transmitted disease. The “turn your head and cough” test allows the doctor to detect any signs of a hernia. Lastly, if the patient is over 40 or 50, the doctor will do a prostate exam to feel for any suspicious areas.
Physical Female Examination
The woman’s annual exam includes a breast exam and a pelvic exam. The doctor will feel for any abnormal lumps that may be a sign of breast cancer or a benign breast condition. The doctor also feels under the arms for any nodules. For the pelvic exam, the patient lies down while the doctor examines the vulva, vagina, and cervix. The doctor also checks for any sexually transmitted diseases and does a pap smear. Click here to find a location near you.