A physical exam is a routine exam that checks a patient’s overall health. During the exam, a provider will typically:
Patients, of course, have an opportunity to ask any health-related questions that they have. In addition to assessing a patient’s overall health, a physical exam serves another important purpose. It gives the physician and patient a chance to build a relationship. Having an existing relationship in place makes recommending treatments for ailments, should the patient ever become sick, easier because the doctor and patient already understand each other’s perspectives and approaches to health.
Everyone should go for a physical exam periodically, as physicals are an important part of preventative health care. Patients can talk with their primary care providers to determine precisely how often they should have a physical. In some cases, patients need a physical exam for a specific purpose. For example, people who want to do the following might need an exam even if they aren’t due for a routine one:
Most health insurance policies provide coverage for routine physical exams, although policies vary. Patients should check with their insurer to see if their policy provides coverage and, if it does, how frequently they can go for a physical. Patients who need a physical exam for one of the above-listed reasons might not have health insurance coverage for the exam. They may, however, be able to ask their prospective employer or life insurance provider to pay for the exam.