What happens during a physical exam?
Each annual exam will begin with a conversation about the patient’s health and a review of their personal and family medical history. During the physical portion of the exam vital signs will also be taken including, breathing levels, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature to assess overall health levels. The physician will also check for any indications of a medical illness or irregularity, especially if the patient reports any changes in their health. If any medical changes or problems arise between checkups you would be able to let the doctor know at this point. Should a physical exam present a suspected illness, further testing may be required to fully diagnose the condition.
What types of screenings are required for adults?
A number of screenings are carried out regularly to monitor a patient’s overall health. Many conditions like high blood pressure or high cholesterol are indicative of other more serious health issues, but are themselves symptomless. Depending on the age of the patient different screenings will be used to ensure that all aspects of the body are properly functioning. Some of the tests utilized for adults include:
- Blood pressure and body mass index assessed yearly starting at age 19
- Annual skin cancer exams beginning at age 27
- Colorectal cancer screenings performed every 10 years beginning at age 50
- For men, male specific screenings include:
- Starting between the ages of 45 to 50 a testicular exam performed at the yearly physical exam
- Depending on risk factors, prostate cancer screenings begin between the ages of 45 to 50
- For women, female specific screenings include:
- Yearly breast exams starting at age 19
- Pap smear performed every three years beginning at age 21