A periodic health examination is an evaluation of your overall health condition during which your doctor will evaluate your body, organs, and their functioning. Evaluation of the body can include inspection (looking at), palpation (feeling), percussion (tapping on), and auscultation (listening) to certain areas of the body.
The examination may also involve discussing your medical history, in which your doctor will ask you questions about your medications, medical conditions, allergies, and any symptoms or problems you may be having.
How often you should get a periodic health examination greatly depends on your individual factors (health status, age, gender). Although many people visit their doctor for the examination once a year, you may require an examination more or less frequently than this depending on your specific situation - talk to your doctor to find out how often you should get an examination.
The information gained from your examination will allow your doctor to give you specific recommendations about how you can prevent disease and maintain good health. This procedure allows you to identify problems early on so that you can take steps to prevent any potential health issues from getting worse.
If your doctor notices something concerning during the exam, he or she can then order necessary tests or perform other procedures to investigate the problem further. The procedure also provides you with an opportunity to discuss any questions or concerns you have regarding your overall health.
Risks and precautions
A periodic health examination is generally safe and does not carry any risks. There is a chance that you might feel some pain if the doctor touches an area of your body that is sore or tender. You should tell your doctor about such areas before the procedure. Some of the components of the examination may make you feel slightly uncomfortable (e.g., evaluation of the reproductive organs, anus, or breasts). You should discuss any concerns you have with your doctor before the procedure.
Before the procedure
It is a good idea to provide all of the information your doctor will need to assess your health.
If you are taking any prescription or non-prescription medications, vitamins, supplements, or any other natural health products, you should show these to your doctor. You should have ready information regarding your health conditions as well as the medical histories of family members in case your doctor asks for them. You should also prepare a list of questions or concerns that you would like to talk to the doctor about.