Primary Care

Primary Care Specialist
For patients throughout the Wilmington and Los Angeles area, Wilmington Community Clinic offers annual physical checkups and exams. At the practice, these annual exams can provide insight and help you maintain your great health.

Primary Care Q&A

What is a physical or annual checkup?

An annual physical or check-up is used to determine how a patient’s health has progressed over the last year and to monitor health issues to in order to keep them in check. Often the exams tell a person that he or she is in great health or allows the doctor to diagnose and treat a condition before it becomes a problem. A physical exam is an important part of a visit to the doctor and provides a safe for patients to voice any concerns they may have.

What happens during an annual checkup or physical?

During an annual exam a doctor will usually check a patient’s:

  • Medical history- the doctor will gather information about the person’s past overall health and he or she can voice any concerns
  • Vital signs- blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and respiration rate will be recorded
  • General appearance- information will be taken about how well the person walks, talks, remembers things, overall healthy appearance
  • Heart-a stethoscope will be used to listen to the heart to check for signs of a murmur, irregular heartbeat, or heart disease
  • Lungs- the stethoscope will also be used to listen for wheezes, crackles, and decreased breathing sounds
  • Head and neck- ears, nose, sinuses, eyes, lymph nodes, thyroid, and carotid arteries will all be palpated or examined for any signs of an underlying issue
  • Abdomen- various techniques can be used to check for liver or abdominal issues such as the presence of fluid and tenderness.
  • Skin-occasionally some conditions show signs in the skin and nails when can be checked for
  • Extremities- the doctor will look for any sensory changes and examine joints for any abnormalities
  • Neurological health- muscles strength, balance, reflexes, nerves, and mental state will be examined for any irregularities

Are lab tests performed during an annual checkup?

Occasionally, lab tests may be performed during the annual exam. Usually, this is done when there is a concern for an illness or if the patient has reached a particular age and needs to have a screening of some sort. Screenings include lipid panel tests to check cholesterol, blood tests, and tests for diabetes. A blood panel or chemistry panel can also be run to obtain a base record of a patient’s normal metabolic indicators.

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