He must be doing something right. At 92 years old, John Humphrey swears by his annual physical.
“So that I can see if I am in decent shape that I don’t have any serious problem that is coming up,” says John Humphrey, gets annual physicals.
That’s the basis for a wellness exam. To get in front of your doctor for a thorough once over. But do you know what to expect from a physical?
“What I tell patients is you want to get a full head to toe exam,” says Dr. Sal Lacagnina, vice president of Health & Wellness with Lee Memorial Health System.
First doctors ‘get into your head’- talking about any aches, pains or concerns you have. It’s called a review of symptoms. Once that’s finished, they’ll take a look.
“The physician or nurse practitioner should be examining you in a gown so they can look at your skin and make sure they’re listening and feeling every part of your body to make sure physically that you’re healthy,” says Dr. Lacagnina.
The basics include: blood pressure, heart rate, weight, temperature and respiration. Anyone one of these can trigger additional testing.
“So some of them are blood tests, some of them are procedures or other physical tests,” says Dr. Lacagnina.
A doctor should listen to your heart, lungs and abdomen, and look in your ears, eyes and nose. They can do a basic neurological exam and test your reflexes. Along with a skin cancer evaluation. Males and females have gender specific screenings. A new addition for some is a fitness exam.
“When most people get their wellness exams they are sitting down on an exam table, they’re not doing anything physical. If you really want to know you’re healthy you do a fitness assessment,” says Dr. Lacagnina.
A comprehensive test can take up to 45 minutes; a small investment in your health.
“I can’t imagine why someone wouldn’t see a doctor every year. The benefit to your health is huge,” says John Steffel.