The Lowdown on Physical Exams: How to Schedule, What to Bring, and What to Expect

on April 17th, 2023
with 0 Comments
in Health Information and Tips

You know it will be a fun day when the first thing on your schedule is a physical exam— a true prediction for those well-prepared.

A physical examination is an essential clinical examination conducted annually to evaluate patients’ overall health. It involves a head-to-toe assessment through observation, palpation, or percussion to provide a comprehensive snapshot of your health, allowing for early intervention and prevention of medical conditions.

Patients who prioritize an annual physical examination enjoy better health outcomes. The importance of a physical exam highlights the need for proper scheduling and preparation.

For instance, a patient who books a physical exam appointment increases their chances of attending it. Moreover, proper preparation allows you to set your mind and maximize the benefits of interaction with the physician.

More importantly, it pays to complete your annual physical examination from a well-equipped urgent care center with board-certified physicians.


Scheduling Your Physical Exam: Tips for Booking an Appointment That Works For You

Booking an appointment for a physical examination is a positive step closer to better health. Interestingly, improper booking or scheduling could cause several things to go wrong. First, if you book during peak hours, you will likely spend valuable time in the queue. 

Unfortunately, longer wait times will disrupt your work, school, or family schedule, encouraging you to miss the physical examination.

Here are a few helpful tips to enhance how you schedule a physical exam;

  • Assess Your Availability: Look at your calendar for a suitable date and time that works best for you. Consider work, school, and family commitments that may affect your availability.


  • Book the Appointment During Off-Peak Hours: Most patients book medical appointments early or late into the week. Be creative. Arrange to see a physician midweek, during weekends, or at night to save valuable time for other activities.


  • Call in Advance: Once you book an appointment, call in advance to learn more about your physical examination. The doctor may use the opportunity to inform you of any changes that need your attention.


  • Check With Your Insurance Provider: Contact your provider to confirm if your insurance coverage will meet the cost of a physical examination. Ask whether your preferred urgent care center is covered, co-pay contributions, and any deductibles.


  • Confirm Your Appointment: Confirm with your preferred urgent care center a day or two before the appointment. 

What to Bring to Your Physical Exam: Essential Information and Documents

Proper preparation will help you get the most out of your time with a physician. Gather the following information and documentation ahead of your physical examination;

  • Surgical and medical history
  • Create a list of questions you’d like answered by your physician
  • A list of your current medications, including supplements and over-counter medications
  • Results from recent and relevant tests
  • Names and contact information of any physician that you’ve seen recently
  • Note down the symptoms and form of pain you’re currently experiencing
  • Bring a front and back copy of any device you’re wearing, such as a pacemaker or defibrillator


Prepare for your appointment by removing excess jewelry or make-up that may impede the physical examination. It’s also a good idea to wear loose clothing to the test— usually, most urgent care centers will provide a gown suitable for the examination.

What to Expect During Your Physical Exam: A Step-by-Step Guide

A physician will comprehensively evaluate your health, including vital signs, to ensure your body is in excellent physical and mental condition.

Here’s what to expect during a physical examination;

Step 1: The Doctor Will Ask You Several Questions

The doctor will ask about your medical history, lifestyle, mental health, and vaccination status. A physician will also leave it open for you to express medical complaints and health concerns that you’re experiencing.

Step 2: A Check on Vital Signs

The doctor will assess your vital signs to evaluate your body’s crucial functions like temperature, heartbeat, blood pressure, and breathing rate. 

Step 3: Evaluate Your Physical Appearance

The doctor will inspect your body for unusual marks or growth. They may ask you to sit down or stand up during the evaluation. The doctor may also ask you to lie down to let them feel the abdomen and other body parts.

During the evaluation, the doctor will establish individual organs’ size, location, tenderness, texture, and consistency.

Step 4: A Check on Vital Organs

The doctor will use a stethoscope to listen to the functioning of your lungs and heart. The evaluation helps assess the heart and valve function by investigating a potential heart murmur, heart disease, and constrained breathing sounds.

Step 5: Lab Examination

A doctor may request blood, urine, or plasma samples for further lab tests. The role of the test is to detect any immune system, blood chemistry, blood sugar, and organ issues.

Making the Most of Your Physical Exam: Questions to Ask Your Doctor and Follow-up Steps.

Physical examination is teamwork, so your contribution is important in a thorough examination. Therefore, collaborate with your physician by providing truthful and complete information.

Also, let the doctor know the following;


  • The location of pain or discomfort
  • How long do symptoms or pain last?
  • What relieves your pain or discomfort? Is it rest or medication?


Once the doctor is done, they may follow up via phone or email with your test results. The doctor will point out any problem areas and advise you on any lifestyle, diet, or medication changes to improve your health.

Take Control of Your Health: Schedule Your Annual Physical Today

Undertaking an annual physical examination is a proactive approach to looking after your health. After a physical examination, a doctor can tell whether you’re at risk of developing a chronic condition like diabetes or heart disease.

It’s, therefore, prudent to schedule your annual physical examination and adequately prepare for it.

At Newport Urgent Care Center, we have highly experienced and trained physicians ready to assist you.

Contact us online or call us at 949.832.6347 to book an appointment.