A routine physical examination ensures that you stay in good health. A physical can also be a preventive step. It allows you to catch up on vaccinations or detect a serious condition, like cancer or diabetes, before it causes problems. During a routine physical, your doctor can also check vitals, including weight, heart rate, and blood pressure.
Updated Health History
This may include questions about your job and relationships, medications, allergies, supplements, or any recent surgeries.
This includes blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate.
Your doctor will review your appearance for signs of any potential conditions, checking the parts of your body that could visually indicate any existing health issues.
Arms, Legs, Hands, Feet
Speech and Walking
As the physical exam continues, the doctor will use tools to look in your eyes, ears, nose, and throat, and listen to your heart and lungs.
The physical exam includes:
Touching, or “palpating,” parts of your body (like your abdomen) to feel for abnormalities
Checking skin, hair, and nails
Possibly examining your genitalia and rectum
Testing your motor functions and reflexes
To complete the physical, your doctor may draw blood for several laboratory tests. These can include a complete blood count and a complete metabolic, or chemistry panel.
The panel tests your blood plasma and can indicate any issues that exist in your kidneys, liver, blood chemistry, and immune system. This helps detect irregularities in your body that might indicate a larger problem.
Your doctor may request a diabetes screen and a thyroid screen. If you have an increased risk of heart attack, heart disease, or stroke, they may also request a lipid panel (cholesterol test).