Making the Most of Your Annual Physical Exam
The Importance of an Annual Physical Exam
Primary Care Concierge Medicine – Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, North Palm Beach, Palm Beach and Juno Beach
Having your annual physical conducted in an unhurried and thorough manner is what patients can expect at Weisz Concierge Medical. As a member of our concierge practice, an annual physical believe is an essential component of ongoing wellness that must not be rushed or abbreviated. At Weisz Concierge Medical, patients can expected a comprehensive, in-depth one on one examination. Dr. Weisz will take the time to discuss medical concerns and explain at each step. In this way, she will be able to accurately assess your current medical condition. A physical is not just “physical.” It is also a time for Dr. Weisz to listen to your concerns and to provide you with the physical and mental counseling you require in order for you to maintain optimal health.
What are the steps of a typical annual physical exam?
First, Dr. Weisz will review your past history and ask about any health-related complaints or concerns. She will also ask about your lifestyle behavior at this point, covering such things as smoking, excessive alcohol use, diet and exercise. Vaccinations will also be discussed.
Your vital signs will be taken, including your blood pressure, your heart rate (BPM), your respiratory rate, your waist circumference and your body temperature. Based on these readings, Dr. Weisz will discuss any concerning issues. For example, if your blood pressure is higher than 130 over 80.
Dr. Weisz will go beyond your vitals, however. She is trained to gather important information about you by observing and speaking with you. How is your memory? Your mental acuity? Do you move with difficulty? Are there any visible skin rashes, etc.
Next, Dr. Weisz will listen to your heart using a stethoscope, listening for an irregular heartbeat or murmur. She will also be listening to your lungs to detect crackles, wheezes or decreased breathing sounds. These, and other symptoms, are clues to possible lung disease.
“Open wide and say Ah,” is something you’ve probably heard before as a doctor examines your throat and tonsils. But Dr. Weisz, because she has the time for more intensive investigation, also examines the quality of your teeth and gums, she pays close attention to your ears, nose, sinuses, eyes, lymph nodes, and thyroid. She will listen to your carotid arteries as she thoroughly examines your head and neck.
As part of your comprehensive physical, Dr. Weisz will conduct an abdominal exam to assess liver size and look for any abdominal fluids; a neurological exam to check your reflexes, balance and muscle strength; a dermatological exam to look at your skin and nails; and examine your extremities, checking for any physical or sensory changes in your limbs and joints.
If you’re a male, a physical will include a testicular exam and a hernia assessment (turn your head and cough). A prostate exam is also a component that will let the doctor know about any enlargement or possible nodules.
Women’s Health – Breast Exam
A woman’s annual physical will include a breast exam to check for any abnormalities. A pelvic exam is also conducted, checking for STDs and cervical cancer among other concerns. A PAP smear will be carried out if indicated.
Dr. Weisz will request some standard laboratory tests in order to detect the presence of various medical conditions. These tests include a blood work-up, including a complete blood count and chemistry panel, as well as urinalysis to look for diabetes and other conditions. Depending on how long it has been since your last one, Dr. Weisz may order that a lipid panel or other tests that seem appropriate be included in your blood work.
These components of your annual exam by no means constitute a complete list. Dr. Weisz is committed to taking the time and using her skills, coupled with the latest diagnostic tools, to deliver a comprehensive assessment of the current state of your health. And in this way, lead you to wellness and provide you with true peace of mind.