What Can Men Expect During a Full Physical Exam?

A full physical exam for a man is likely to include looking in the mouth, nose, ears and eyes; palpating the abdomen and listening to the heart, lungs and intestines with a stethoscope; testing reflexes; examining the skin and nails; and examining the male genital area, including the testicles, penis and prostrate area, according to WebMD. Although the components of a complete exam can vary, it typically includes giving a health history, taking vital signs and some standard laboratory tests.

During the health history, the doctor asks about habits that affect health, vaccination status and family medical history, maintains WebMD. Vital signs include blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate and body temperature. The doctor also assesses the patient’s general physical appearance looking for signs of health conditions. While listening to the heart and lungs with a stethoscope, the doctor checks for murmurs, irregular heartbeats and sounds that indicate lung problems.

After uses special instruments to look in the eyes, ears, nose and mouth, the doctor feels the neck area for swelling and lumps, states WebMD. The patient then lies down while the doctor checks the abdomen for abnormalities and listens to the stomach and intestines. Next the patient sits up, and the doctor uses a reflex hammer on the knee to check reflexes.

A male physical exam also often includes the examination of the penis and testicles, reports WebMD. The doctor manually feels for abnormalities and checks the abdominal wall in the groin area for hernias. The doctor might also insert a finger rectally to check the prostrate for problems.