Shawn Hamilton, MD
Internists located in Irvine, CA
A big part of preventive care is building a long-term relationship with your primary care physician. One way to do this is by scheduling a physical exam each year. This annual checkup ensures that you and Shawn Hamilton, MD, have a chance to go over your medical history and discuss any concerns you may have. Call Dr. Hamilton at her Irvine, California, office or make sure to book an appointment online today.
Annual Physical Exams Q&A
What is an annual physical exam?
An annual physical exam is an appointment scheduled in advance that includes a thorough checkup and history. Although there are no hard and fast rules about what to expect during your physical exam, most include the following.
First, you may be asked to answer a questionnaire about your health, which will be used as the starting point for an in-depth conversation. Dr. Hamilton may then ask you about your lifestyle, including alcohol use, smoking, diet, and exercise. She will also ask about your vaccination status and changes in family history.
These include blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and respiration rate. Dr. Hamilton will tell you if she notes any abnormalities.
Dr. Hamilton can learn a lot about your health just by looking at you. For example, does your skin have good color? She may ask you to walk to check on your gait and balance. Through speaking with you, she can also get a glimpse of your mental acuity.
Using a stethoscope, Dr. Hamilton listens for an irregular heartbeat, a heart murmur, and other signs of heart disease. A stethoscope also provides information about lung function and whether wheezing or decreased breathing sounds are present.
Each part of your body will be checked, from the inside of your mouth and ears, your neck to your abdomen.
Men may get a testicular and prostate exam, while women might have their breasts examined for lumps. A pelvic exam checks a woman’s vagina and internal sex organs, often accompanied by a Pap smear, which screens for cervical cancer.
What lab tests are typically ordered?
Most physicals include:
- Complete blood count
- Chemistry panel
- Lipid panel assessing cholesterol levels and other heart disease risk factors
Is prevention discussed at the annual physical exam?
Yes, Dr. Hamilton is a firm believer in the value of prevention. She will discuss your exercise habits and recommend that you walk or go to the gym several times a week. She will also recommend that you eat a balanced diet, with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Dr. Hamilton is committed to providing excellent care, beginning with an annual physical exam. Prevention is also a key part of her approach. Call her office or book an online appointment today.