There are a surprising number of routine physicals throughout your lifetime that may be required for work, school, or simply as a matter of protecting your heath. For instance, some careers require a physical exam.
Others are necessitated by schools, which may require proof of vaccination, physicals to play sports, volunteer, or to study abroad. No matter what your particular need, different types of physicals can help ensure you are ready to work, play, or complete your education.
Different Types of Physicals
Certain professions require that applicants be in good overall health in order to perform the duties of a given career. These often include:
- Merchant marine or Coast Guard physicals
- Department of Transportation (DOT) physicals
- Firefighter or police officer physicals
- Peace Corps or other volunteer physicals
- Travel physicals (to work, study, or travel abroad)
- Commercial pilot physicals
In addition, doctors also perform routine health physicals specifically for males, females, or children. These types of exams are usually designed to help catch common issues such as diabetes and cancer. Schools and education facilities may require a physical to ensure that the students are free of communicable diseases and are up-to-date on all required immunizations.
Some may require testing for sexually transmitted diseases, administration of recommended immunizations (for those traveling overseas), or include a discussion on health precautions when traveling abroad. Routine physicals can also be used as screenings and preventive care. These may include: prostate exams, mammograms, cervical exams, colon cancer screening, bone density tests, and testing for other common disorders and diseases.
A physical may be performed by a doctor or a physician’s assistant, a nurse practitioner, or other medical professional with the necessary licensing and education to perform a given physical exam. Exams usually include a relevant medical history (which may also include a family history of diseases and disorders, a physical examination that tests coordination, reflexes, muscle tone, cognitive ability, strength, overall condition, and range of motion.
Many include drug screenings, vision and hearing checks, blood pressure, temperature check, as well as heart and lung function tests. Some require a hair sample, breathalyzer testing, mouth swabs, and urine or blood samples to screen for illicit drug use. The examiner may also ask about alcohol use, what medications (over the counter or prescription) you are taking, as well as questions about your health.
You may be asked to bend and pick up objects, walk form one area to another, or perform other tasks to help determine your level of fitness. You may be asked about any previous surgeries, hospitalizations or symptoms that you may have had or are currently experiencing. Once completed, the doctor or examiner may request other tests, depending on the findings or requirements of the physical.
If you, or someone you know needs a physical, or for more information about career or school physicals, or to make an appointment with one of our exceptional family medicine specialists, please call Intercoastal Medical Group today at (941) 362-8662. You can also request an appointment online. Intercoastal Medical Group: dedicated to your wellbeing for life.