A Typical Checkup
What can you expect at your checkup?
- Clinical history: Updating information on your chart or medical record is important. Some of the items you will likely be asked about include the following:
- Dates and results of previous preventive procedures (such as prior immunizations, Pap tests, mammograms, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure readings)
- A complete and updated family history of diseases: This will give your health care professional an idea about which diseases are common in your family.
- Your past medical history,
including a review of all medications you take and previous surgeries
- Information about your workplace and leisure and living conditions at home
- Your habits such as recreational drug use, alcohol use, smoking, exercise, sexual practices, and seat belt use
- Information about your normal body functions such as eating, sleeping, urination, bowel function, vision, and hearing
- Physical examination and diagnostic tests
- The number of physical examination maneuvers your doctor performs and tests that are ordered will vary depending on your gender, age, and information obtained from the clinical history.
- The physical exam is most useful in identifying disease in people who already have symptoms, but it is often of little use as a screening test in people who have no complaints.
- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has developed age-specific charts for periodic health screening for the general population, with special interventions for high-risk populations. See more detailed information in the next section.
- Procedures no longer done routinely: Unless there is a specific reason for these tests to be done, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force does not advocate routine testing of the following:
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