What Does a Yearly Doctor's Exam Generally Include?


Quick Answer

A yearly doctor’s exam generally includes patient’s history, vital signs, general appearance, heart exam and lung exam, explains WebMD. The exam might also include a head and neck exam, an abdominal exam, and neurological, dermatological and extremity examinations.

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For males, an annual doctor’s exam might include examinations such as testicular, hernia, penis and prostrate exams, explains WebMD. Female annual exam might include breast and pelvic examinations. Although there are no standard laboratory tests during a yearly exam, some physicians may order routine tests such as complete blood count, urinalysis and chemistry panel. If a patient is overweight or shows risk factors for diabetes, blood sugar may also be checked.

To start, the doctor might quiz the patient about lifestyle behaviors such as exercise, diet, sexual health and smoking, explains WebMD. Vital signs that are checked include blood pressure, respiration rate, heart rate and temperature. During a heart exam, the doctor checks for clues of heart disease, irregular heartbeat and heart murmurs. A lung exam involves listening for decreased breath sounds, wheezes or crackles, which may give clues to the presence of lung or heart disease. During an abdominal exam, the doctor checks the abdomen to detect presence of abdominal fluid, liver size and tenderness.

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