What Are the Procedures for a College Physical Exam?


Quick Answer

During physical exams, a doctor reviews patients' medical histories, checks vital signs and performs individual examinations of different parts of the body. Most colleges require students to receive a pre-entrance physical exam before attending.

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Full Answer

Pre-entrance physical exams for college should resemble a normal annual exam. Different colleges may have different vaccination requirements and recommendations.

Before patients are seen by a doctor, a nurse typically checks the patient's vital signs. These include blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate and temperature. The nurse also measures the patient's height and weight. Doctors typically review a patient's medical history and ask basic lifestyle questions, such as whether or not the patient smokes. This is a good time for a patient to bring up any concerns he may have about his health and physical well-being.

The doctor evaluates the patient's basic state of health based on physical appearance, such as how healthy the skin appears. Using a stethoscope, the doctor listens to the patient's heart and lungs. The doctor may perform examinations of the head and neck, abdomen and extremities. He may also conduct a neurological exam by testing reflexes in different areas of the body. Women typically receive a pelvic and breast exam, while men may receive a prostate exam and testicular exam.

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