What Is a Comprehensive Physical Exam?
A comprehensive physical exam is sometimes referred to as an executive physical. They include laboratory tests, pulmonary function testing, chest x-rays, audiograms, EKGs, full-body CAT scans, heart stress tests, mammograms or prostate exams, and a urinalysis. This process is used by a medical professional to investigate the body of a patient for signs of disease. These examinations also take the patient’s medical and family history into account prior to determining a correct diagnosis and devising a treatment plan.
This data becomes a part of the patient’s medical record. General health examinations are often administered even if the patient reports no health concerns.
Why Does the AMA Medical Group Promote Comprehensive Physical Exams?
Physical exams do play a role in identifying the early signs of illness. However, they also establish a significant doctor-patient relationship, which is beneficial in other medical encounters. A physical examination also helps you and your doctor establish a baseline and general status of your health. They are recommended at least once a year, especially in people over the age of 50.
These exams are used to:
- Check for possible disease
- Identify issues that could be concerning in the future
- Update necessary immunizations
- Discuss dietary and exercise routines
Who Is a Good Candidate for a Comprehensive Physical Exam?
Everyone should receive regular health screenings and physical examinations. During these examinations, your doctor may wish to examine a specific part of your body, called a focused physical exam. This is done if your doctor has reason to believe something about it is abnormal and requires further testing to rule anything out.
However, patients with a family or personal history of certain diseases, such as cancer, high blood pressure, or diabetes should receive regular health screenings and physical examinations to monitor their health and the progression of any degenerative health conditions.
What to Expect from Your Comprehensive Physical Exam
Physical exams are typically performed during a routine office visit. If you require additional screenings or imaging tests, they may be completed at an imaging center or at a hospital. Blood draws can be completed at the doctor’s office before any samples are sent to a lab for further analysis. Men and women will have different kinds of physical health examinations.
Women typically require a mammogram, a pap smear, a pelvic exam, a cholesterol test, and an osteoporosis screening.
Men typically receive a cholesterol test, a prostate cancer screening, a testicular exam, and an abdominal aortic aneurysm screening.
If you have any concerns during this process, be sure to discuss them with your doctor. Additionally, if you have been experiencing any unpleasant symptoms, it is important to share them with your healthcare team so that any additional diagnostics can be run.
Lastly, it is critical to share any vitamin or holistic regimen you are taking, as they can interfere with certain medications or tests. If your doctor is unaware of what you are taking, it could lead to a delayed or incorrect diagnosis.
AMA medical group was founded to support every member of the community. If you need a health screening or a comprehensive physical exam, don’t hesitate to contact us at (727) 331-8740 to schedule an appointment.