General Internal Medicine Group: What to Expect from a Physical Exam

October 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

A physical exam is the opportunity for patients to register any health concerns they have with their physician, who performs routine checks on a patient’s general health and condition and gets an impression of a patient’s lifestyle. It is tailored to a patient’s individual needs and may include screening or testing if there is specific cause for concern.

Questions about diet, exercise, smoking, sexual activity, and alcohol consumption are a standard way for a doctor to gain a picture of a patient’s lifestyle. The doctor will also check the patient’s medical history.

The basic physical exam includes checking the patient’s blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature. More specific examinations of the head, neck, body, joints, and heart will detect abnormalities or issues ranging from minor complaints to symptoms that need to be further investigated. Breast and pelvic exams are common for women, and a prostate exam is important for men.

In a standard physical, no urine or blood samples are taken. The physical is merely important for putting a patient’s mind at ease by checking for some of the most common complaints that, if present, can be more easily treated if caught in the early stages.

About the Author:

General Internal Medicine Group is located in Fairfax, Virginia, and is the only Level III patient-centered medical home in the state. With experts in endocrinology, rheumatology and cardiology, General Internal Medicine Group’s care goes beyond a basic physical exam to provide expert consultation on a wide range of medical conditions.

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