Depending on the preference of your health care provider, you may receive a Health History Questionnaire Form to complete prior to your visit. This health history will address your past medical history including any medical conditions you may have, your Immunization history, as well any prescription or over the counter medications that you currently take. In addition, your social history including tobacco, alcohol or drug use, sexual health, diet and exercise will be addressed. Your health care provider will also discuss your family medical history including any chronic medical conditions such as High Blood Pressure or Diabetes.
Lastly, your health care provider will evaluate the need for Health Screening exams such as Pap Smears and Mammograms and determine if these are appropriate based on your age and family history.
At the beginning of your visit, your health care provider will address each of these areas with you and allow time for discussion. Feel free to ask questions during your discussion with your health care provider. Be open and honest! Your healthcare provider is there for you!
Vital Signs: Vital Signs are an essential part of the physical exam. Your doctor will assess your blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate or breathing rate and your temperature. This information is essential in determining your general health and wellbeing.
General Appearance: For this part of the health exam, your health care provider will gather information by simply watching you and talking with you. Your health care provider will make sure that you are able to walk, talk, and function appropriately.
Head and Neck Exam. We all know this part of the exam! When your healthcare provider asks you to say “ah” they are able to examine your mouth, throat and tonsils. In addition, your health care provider will take a look at your teeth and gums, which will provide valuable information about your overall health. Using an ophthalmoscope, your health care provider will examine your eyes. This may also involve turning the lights off in the exam room.
Your healthcare provider will also examine your ExtraOcular movements and ask you to visually follow their finger. This is to make sure that your eye muscles are strong and functioning appropriately.
Using an otoscope, your health care provider will examine inside your ears and each nostril. In addition, your healthcare provider will palpate your sinuses on your forehead and your cheekbones. Lastly, your health care provider will palpate your lymph nodes and thyroid gland to check for any enlargement and determine if your body is possibly fighting an infection, which may cause lymph node enlargement.
Heart Exam. Using a stethoscope, your health care provider will listen to your heart sounds in order to detect an irregular heartbeat, murmurs, or other underlying heart disease.
Lung Exam. Using a stethoscope, your health care provider will listen to your breath sounds on both sides of your chest and also your back. Your health care provider will ask you to take deep breaths in and out. This part of the exam is important in order for your healthcare provider to detect any lung conditions such as Asthma or Pneumonia.
Abdominal Exam. During this part of the exam, your healthcare provider will also use a stethoscope to listen to your abdomen for your bowel sounds. These sounds indicate how your Gastrointestinal tract is functioning. In addition, your healthcare provider will tap your abdomen to detect the size of your liver and other abdominal organs and also palpate your abdomen for tenderness, which may indicate an underlying condition such as Appendicitis.
Neurological Exam. During this part of the exam, your healthcare provider will have you perform simple tasks to assess your nerve function, muscle strength, reflexes and balance.
Dermatological Exam. Your healthcare provider will examine your skin and nails both on your upper and lower body including your hands and feet. During this part of the exam, your healthcare provider will observe for any lesions on your skin or any changes in your finger nails that could signify an underlying medical condition.
Extremities Exam. Your healthcare provider will exam your upper and lower extremities for physical and sensory changes. In addition, your health care provider will exam your pulses and joints to make sure that everything is working properly.