An annual physical exam is an important component of preventative healthcare and essential for maintaining your health. At Rancho Family Medical Group, we offer comprehensive physical examinations to provide our patients with the highest level of care. During an annual physical, our experienced doctors will evaluate your overall health, check vital signs such as blood pressure and heart rate, order lab tests, and provide lifestyle counseling. This complete examination allows us to assess your current health and develop a plan for ensuring your well-being into the future. We understand that taking preventative measures is an essential part of keeping you healthy, so scheduling regular physicals should be at the top of your list!
What to Expect
Getting your annual physical at Rancho Family Medical Group can be an important part of maintaining your health. Your doctor will ask questions and perform exams to assess any issues that may have developed since your last visit. Here’s what you should expect during your appointment:
History: Your doctor will want to hear about any complaints or concerns you have about your health. They will also ask questions regarding lifestyle behaviors such as smoking, alcohol use, diet, and exercise. This is also the time to review any medications you are taking and if any changes need to occur. Your doctor will review your vaccination status and update your personal and family medical history.
Vital Signs: During the physical, your doctor will take measurements of vital signs such as blood pressure (less than 120 over less than 80 is considered normal), heart rate (60-100 is considered normal), respiration rate (12-16 breaths per minute is normal for a healthy adult) and temperature.
General Appearance: Your doctor will observe your general appearance, including mental quickness and skin health. During this part of the physical, your doctor will look at your skin and nails to look for signs of any dermatological problems or disease. They will also ask you to stand up and walk around the room in order to look for physical and sensory changes in your arms and legs. They will also check pulses and examine any joints for abnormalities.
Neurological Exam: Your doctor will assess your nerves, muscle strength, reflexes, balance, and mental state.
Heart Exam: Your doctor might check for an irregular heartbeat or hear a heart murmur with a stethoscope while listening to your heart.
Lung Exam: A stethoscope will be used to listen for crackles, wheezes, or decreased breath sounds that can indicate lung problems.
Head and Neck Exam: This includes examining your throat, tonsils, teeth, and gums. The doctor will also check your ears, nose, sinuses, eyes, lymph nodes, thyroid gland, and carotid arteries.
Abdominal Exam: Your doctor may tap your abdomen to detect liver size and presence of abdominal fluid or use a stethoscope to listen to bowel sounds. They may also palpate for any tenderness.
Labs and Testing
A typical annual physical will not include any standard laboratory tests, but some doctors may order a complete blood count, chemistry panel and urinalysis (UA) as part of routine care. For those with risk factors for heart disease, a screening lipid panel (cholesterol test) is recommended every 4 to 6 years according to the American Heart Association. The American Diabetes Association recommends testing for diabetes in adults age 45 and over, regardless of weight. Finally, the CDC also recommends that everyone over 18 get screened at some point for hepatitis C, which may be done during one of your physicals.
Overall, the annual physical exam is a great opportunity for you to connect with your physician and start making healthy lifestyle changes and decisions that can help reduce your risk of developing chronic illnesses. During your annual physical, it’s also important to talk to your doctor about which screening tests are necessary for you based on your personal health history and family history. Taking all these factors into consideration, you can be sure to make the most out of your annual physical and maintain your health. If you would like to schedule a physical with one of our Rancho Family providers, please contact us at (951) 225-6808. We look forward to helping you on your healthcare journey.