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What to Expect at Your Next Physical Exam

What to Expect at Your Next Physical Exam

While the medical community strongly recommends routine physical exams, it’s not uncommon to miss appointments, especially if you assume you’re physically fit. 

However, these check-ups screen you for disease and help fill out your medical history. They also allow you to address concerns about your health, ask questions, and get advice from a medical professional. 

At Indus Healthcare, with offices in Pomona, West Covina, and Montclair, California, Dr. Amit Reenu Paliwal and our experienced team offer annual physicals to keep your medical information up-to-date, answer any questions you may have, and address any new health issues. 

What’s included in a physical examination?

A physical examination typically consists of four stages: observation, palpation, percussion, and auscultation. 

Observation

Observation begins with a visual examination of your posture and pigment. We’ll check your height, weight, vitals, and reflexes and enter them into your chart.

Palpation

Dr. Paliwal physically examines (palpates) various areas to feel for abnormalities, which usually includes your abdomen and anywhere you have lymph nodes (throat, armpits, and groin.)

Percussion

Percussion involves tapping or knocking on different body parts to evaluate the resulting sound. Dr. Paliwal checks the size, consistency, and presence of fluid within specific organs and areas of your body. 

Auscultation 

Finally, Dr. Paliwal listens to your heart and lungs with a stethoscope, an examination known as auscultation. 

You’re not done yet. These four steps of your annual physical make up just 20% of the necessary information for a complete physical. 

We complete the rest of your exam through diagnostics like bloodwork, imaging tests, and one-on-one discussions. This is why it’s essential to prepare by bringing any new but relevant medical history, notes from other doctors, and a list of concerns you want to address. 

How to prepare for your exam

An annual physical doesn’t require much physical preparation. We will let you know whether you should bring your morning urine and whether or not you should fast for bloodwork. Compile a list of current medications, any recent lab results, and the contacts of any specialists you’re seeing. 

Think about your life so you can talk to Dr. Paliwal about any concerns. How often are you exercising, and what are your diet and sleep schedules? Have you been feeling abnormal pain or discomfort, and if so, when and where? Have you experienced any other strange symptoms? 

Be proactive. Ask Dr. Paliwal about vaccination updates and what screenings he recommends based on your age and medical history. 

If you're in good health, you might be tempted to skip your yearly physical exam. While missing one year won’t likely hurt, people tend to go multiple years without necessary tests and screenings. Without them, you're left unprotected in the present, and your future medical history will have gaps. 

Ready for your exam? Call the location closest to you to schedule an appointment, or visit the contact page for more information. 

 

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