Dr. Kelley Stahl, MD, with Stahl Primary Care in Cumming, Georgia practices direct primary care medicine that includes preventive care such as the annual physical exam. Whether patients need an exam for work or just want to ensure they’re going into the new year with a wellness plan in place, Dr. Stahl and her staff are there to help.
A physical exam is an essential part of most office visits. The annual exam tends to be more comprehensive, though, as Dr. Stahl assesses the patient’s overall health and looks for potential warning signs. The exam will start will a discussion of each patient’s medical history and current lifestyle. Since Dr. Stahl practices direct primary care, she’ll have each patient’s medical data already at her disposal. It just takes a few minutes to update all the information to make sure it’s current.
During this time, she’ll also talk to you about any concerns the patient might have about their health or personal habits. It’s a great time to ask questions, too.
The next step is examining vital signs, including:
Dr. Stahl will do a cursory exam based on appearance, such as noted skin color. The visit will include a series of mini-exams, as well, such as:
There will be different aspects of the exam based on gender, too.
The annual physical exam for a man will include gender-specific elements such as a testicular checks, looking for tenderness or lumps. Dr. Stahl will conduct a hernia test, as well, to ensure the abdominal wall behind the scrotum is secure. A prostate exam is also necessary to rule out enlargement or cancer.
As with the males, there are gender-specific issues for women. A comprehensive women’s exam will include:
Dr. Stahl will also assess the patient’s risk for certain cancers based on lifestyle and family history. She may recommend additional screening tests like a mammogram, as well.
It will depend on a number of things, but it’s not uncommon for Dr. Stahl to order certain lab tests based on physical findings such as:
It’s recommended that all patients have a lipid panel done every four to six years to screen for factors that put them at risk for heart disease. If a patient is overweight, she may also order tests to rule out diabetes like the A1C blood test.