Physical ExamsSeiling, OK
Having a relationship with a trusted healthcare provider makes it easier to get care when it is required. One way to stay in good health is to make time for an annual physical examination with a doctor. Yearly physical exams are routine physical tests that provide a snapshot of a patient's health.
Physical exams are available at Janey L Hammons NP-C in Seiling and the surrounding area. A yearly physical can include many different elements, depending on your age, overall health concerns, and family history. During your appointment, it is essential to discuss your lifestyle and health concerns with your doctor.
Regular medical checkups promote wellness. Take charge of your health by making an appointment for a physical examination. Call (580) 922-4406 to schedule today.
What To Expect at a Physical Exam
Every physical exam can be different since what the doctor does depends on the health and needs of a particular patient. Age and gender will also determine what tests and exams the doctor does. For men, the annual exam may include prostate and testicular exams. A woman's annual physical exam can include a gynecological exam. However, some women have their gynecologist for this. Here are some common elements of a yearly physical for either gender:
- Blood pressure check
- Height and weight checks
- Cancer screenings
- Blood tests and lab work
- Lifestyle counseling
- Medical and family history
Based on a patient's response to questions about lifestyle or family history, the doctor may follow up with additional tests. For example, if a person smokes, the doctor may order tests that check for lung cancer. The doctor may also offer advice to live healthier based on family medical history or the patient's habits to prevent future health issues.
A typical physical exam includes an examination of the patient's body. The doctor may have the patient stand during an inspection of the body for unusual marks. The doctor will listen to the heart and lungs of the patient. Next, the patient may need to lie down so the physician can feel the abdomen to check the location and size of different organs. The doctor may tap the body, almost like a drum, to test the size and consistency of the organs.
As the doctor performs the examination, discuss any concerns. The annual exam is a time to get information about health-related issues. Do not be embarrassed about asking questions. Most doctors have heard and seen many different problems. Having a list of questions to ask the doctor can help you stay focused during the exam to keep from forgetting anything.
An annual exam can help detect changes in health that one can manage through dietary or other lifestyle changes. For example, a slight elevation in cholesterol may require eating healthier to lower the numbers instead of taking medication. Patients with a higher risk of diabetes can reduce their risk through exercise and dietary adjustments.
The Importance of a Yearly Physical
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regular exams are essential for maintaining long-term health. A physical helps build a relationship between the doctor and patient. When a person does get sick, it can be easier to make an appointment for care when the relationship is already established. Seeing the same doctor every year also lets a doctor notice changes in health that could be significant but may go overlooked.
The yearly exam is not a diagnostic exam but a comprehensive evaluation of the patient's overall health. AARP recommends regular wellness checks as part of a healthy lifestyle strategy. Specific tests, such as an electrocardiogram or urine analysis, may be required based on specific symptoms. An annual physical can also reveal health issues that may come up due to genetics or lifestyle. For instance, keeping blood pressure numbers in a good range is a proactive way to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Both men and women benefit from discussing family planning with a healthcare provider. In addition, many patients request screenings for health problems that are a concern. Some health issues are common in families, such as breast cancer, osteoporosis, or glaucoma. Talking to a doctor about those concerns can reduce stress and help a person plan for future care.
Reasons a Person May Need a Physical Exam
A physical exam is a chance for a person to get a health status update. Annual exams are beneficial for both children and adults, whether healthy or with chronic health conditions. It is also important for adults over the age of 65 to keep up with annual physical examinations since health can decline with age. Children should get annual exams to make sure that they are hitting developmental guidelines. Healthy adults can discuss with their doctor how often they should come in for a general physical exam.
Although anyone can make an appointment with their doctor for an annual exam, sometimes, a physical exam may be required for certain activities:
- Children and adults who play sports
- DOT physicals for CDL drivers
- Insurance, either health or life
These physical exams may have special requirements. Ask the doctor's office if they provide a certain type of physical exam before making an appointment. At the appointment, have any paperwork required by the organization requesting the physical exam to expedite the process. If the doctor finds an abnormality that precludes hiring or playing sports, it will be up to the organization to determine how to proceed.
Ask Your Healthcare Provider These Questions
During an annual physical examination, have a list of questions for the doctor. Here are a few suggestions:
- What vaccinations should I get?
- Do you recommend any tests specific for my age?
- Do I need to renew my prescriptions?
- How do I get my lab results?
- What can I do to be healthier for my age?
Because a yearly exam does not focus on a particular diagnosis for a specific symptom, it can be a good time to discuss any general problems with the doctor. Feel free to bring up upcoming health-related events, such as a pregnancy or menopause. The doctor may recommend lifestyle changes to be healthier while experiencing changes to the body.
Make an Appointment For a Yearly Exam
A physical exam provides information about your health to help you live life to the fullest. Be proactive with your health by maintaining a relationship with a physician and having annual health screenings. Contact our office in Seiling at (580) 922-4406 to schedule an appointment for a yearly physical examination.
Frequently Asked Questions About Physical Exams
If I am healthy, do I need a yearly physical?
Only you and your doctor can determine whether you need to see the doctor every year. At your physical exam, this can be something to discuss with the doctor. A wellness exam, which is like the yearly exam without the usual battery of lab tests, may be an option.
How do I prepare for a physical examination?
Make an appointment with a primary care physician. Create a list of questions to ask the doctor to get the most out of your time. List any medications and supplements that you take. On the day of the exam, dress comfortably, avoiding excess makeup or jewelry.
Will I need a follow-up appointment after my physical examination?
The doctor will contact you if follow-up care is required. If the blood test results show an abnormality, the doctor may prescribe medication or have you make another appointment to go over the results. Some doctors may discuss test results over the phone. Most healthcare providers mail a copy of test results or allow patients to access them through a secure online portal.
How do I prepare for the blood test as part of the yearly physical?
Blood tests are routine during a physical. The doctor uses these tests to check cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and more. Drink plenty of water before the blood test. Avoid coffee or soda before getting blood drawn.
Will insurance cover my yearly physical exam?
Many insurance companies offer an annual physical exam as part of the benefits. However, each insurance plan is different. It is essential to check with your insurance to know what is covered, what is not covered, and what the co-pay is.
Why does my employer require a physical examination before I start work?
Some employers require a physical exam to make sure a person is fit for a work assignment. It can depend on the industry and organization. Certain positions require medical clearance for safety.
What tests do I need as part of a physical examination?
The doctor will order tests based on your health conditions and age. A woman 45 years old or older may need a mammogram. Still, some women younger than 45 may also benefit if there is a family history of breast cancer. Medical professionals recommend that men and women over the age of 45 have a colon cancer screening. The doctor may recommend a prostate screening for men.
Do adults need vaccinations at regular physical exams?
Children have specific vaccination requirements, but many adults forget that they, too, need vaccinations to prevent disease. A flu shot is an annual requirement. Doctors recommend that adults get tetanus boosters every 10 years, whereas older adults may also need shingles or pneumonia vaccine.
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