What Is Involved in a Male Physical Exam?

Doctors generally perform a male physical exam by reviewing a person’s medical history and lifestyle, vital signs, and appearance, and performing tests such as a heart, lung, and head and neck exam, states WebMD. They may also perform a testicular, hernia, penis or prostate exam. They sometimes order routine tests, such as complete blood count, chemistry panel or urinalysis.

During an annual physical exam, a doctor asks about an individual’s health concerns and lifestyle practices, including smoking, alcohol consumption, diet, activity levels and sexual health, states WebMD. Additionally, the doctor checks the blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate and temperature of the person. He also observes the person’s physical appearance, especially the skin, and mental acuity.

The doctor uses a stethoscope to identify heart or lung problems, according to WebMD. He examines the throat, tonsils, teeth and gums to assess the individual’s overall health. The abdominal exam involves tapping the abdomen to identify liver size, while a neurological exam involves evaluating balance, reflexes, muscle strength and nerves.

During a testicular exam, the doctor examines each testicle to detect lumps, notes WebMD. A hernia exam requires the patient to turn his head and cough, helping the doctor check for any weakness in the abdominal wall. During a penis exam, the doctor identifies physical signs of sexually transmitted infections.