Comprehensive Medical Evaluation: An Important Step to Wellness
Comprehensive Diagnostic Evaluations at J. Flowers Health Institute
The information presented on this page is an overview of the average evaluation of this nature and is offered here as a resource. At J. Flowers Health Institute, our evaluations are customized and tailored to the individual’s needs. We specialize in providing truly comprehensive health and wellness evaluations and a workable plan for future health to those who want to improve their quality of life.
If you would like to learn more about J. Flowers Health Institute, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Table of Contents
A comprehensive medical evaluation assesses all aspects of a person’s health. It includes a full physical examination, as well as an opportunity to discuss lifestyle choices and habits. It can be conducted at any time, and a person does not have to be sick or have a health problem to do a comprehensive medical evaluation.
What Types of Doctors are Involved in a Comprehensive Medical Evaluation?
There are multiple healthcare providers involved in a medical evaluation. A complete medical examination typically begins with a nurse or a healthcare provider that gathers information about the patient’s health status and medical history. Then, the patient will meet with a physician who will conduct the remainder of the physical exams. The doctor might then refer the patient to other specialists or order specific screenings or testing. This testing will be sent to a laboratory.
What Does a Standard Comprehensive Medical Evaluation Include?
Updated Medical History
The doctor will ask for a full medical history, including any previous illnesses, surgeries, hospitalizations, medications, allergies, etc., and for any updates to current medical conditions.
Vital Signs Checks
The doctor will check blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate. Blood pressure should be checked every 1-3 years depending on individual medical history. The doctor will also take a temperature to check for fever.
The doctor will conduct a visual examination, which means that they will review the patient’s appearance for any signs of potential issues. They will typically examine the skin, head, eyes, chest, abdomen, elbows and joints, musculoskeletal system (hands, wrists), and nervous system functions such as speech and walking ability.
After conducting a visual exam, the doctor will conduct a physical exam where they use specific instruments to look into the eyes, ears, nose, and throat. They will use a stethoscope to listen to the heart, lungs or abdomen to make sure that they are functioning normally and there is no presence of a heart or lung disease.
The doctor will feel parts of the body with their hands to feel for any abnormalities, such as looking for masses or lumps in the abdomen. The doctor will also perform a neurological exam where they assess motor function, nerves, muscle strength, reflexes, and balance. The doctor might also perform a dermatological exam where they examine the patient’s skin and nails.
The doctor will draw blood for various laboratory tests. This might include a complete blood count and a complete metabolic panel that tests the blood plasma in order to detect any issues in the kidneys, liver, blood chemistry and immune system. Any irregularities detected in the blood might indicate bigger problems. The doctor might also conduct a diabetes screen or thyroid screen, and if there is an increased risk of having a heart attack, heart disease or a stroke, the doctor might request a cholesterol test.
The doctor may have the patient complete X-rays, a computer tomography scan (CT), a magnetic resonance scan (MRI), or an electrocardiogram (EKG).
Women who have a low or average risk of developing breast cancer should have a mammogram (an x-ray image of the breasts) done every two years between the ages of 50 to 74. Women at higher risk of developing breast cancer may need to have a mammogram done earlier in life and more frequently. A breast exam might also be conducted to check for abnormal lumps or signs of breast cancer.
A pap smear is a screening test where cells are extracted from the cervix and tested for cervical cancer. It is recommended that women begin getting pap smears at the age of 21 and then every three years after that. After the age of 30, pap smears are recommended every five years, and after the age of 65, most women no longer require pap smears. Pap smears are important because early detection of cervical cancer leads to the best rate of recovery.
A pelvic exam can be conducted with or without a pap smear screening. During a pelvic exam, the doctor will examine the vagina, cervix, and vulva to check for sexually transmitted infections or other conditions.
Women should begin regular cholesterol checks at the age of 45; however, if a woman is at risk of developing diabetes or heart disease, they may need to begin cholesterol checks as early as in their 20s.
It is recommended that women start having bone mineral density tests around the age of 65 to screen for osteoporosis.
Prostate Cancer Screening
Starting at the age of 50, prostate cancer screening might be necessary for some men. It is important to discuss with a doctor when the appropriate time for a prostate cancer screening may be.
A doctor might examine each testicle for lumps, changes in size, tenderness, or any other problems.
Men should begin regular cholesterol checks at the age of 35 unless they have a genetic predisposition to diabetes or heart disease, in which case they may need to begin cholesterol checks as early as age 20.
For Both Men and Women
Colon Cancer Screening
Screening for colon cancer is recommended starting at the age of 50 for both men and women but might be needed earlier, depending on individual medical history.
Lung Cancer Screening
A CT scan of the lungs is recommended for both men and women over the age of 55 who have smoked in the past or who currently smoke.
If a person has a family history of diabetes or is at risk for developing diabetes (e.g., being overweight, having high blood pressure or high cholesterol), they should be screened for diabetes.
Comprehensive medical evaluations are a good time to make sure that all vaccinations are current.
Depending on a person’s sexual history, they might undergo a sexually-transmitted infection screening to check for any issues that need addressing. This might include HIV testing or testing for syphilis.
How are Comprehensive Medical Evaluations Performed?
How To Prepare for a Comprehensive Medical Evaluation?
It’s also important to be prepared to answer questions about health and lifestyle, such as diet, sleep habits, exercise, alcohol or substance use, and stress. They should also prepare any questions that they might want to ask the doctor. A comprehensive medical evaluation is a perfect time to ask a doctor questions and discuss overall health and what changes might need to take place.
What are the Benefits of Having a Comprehensive Medical Evaluation?
Receive Information on Health Status
Look Deeper into Root Cause of Multiple Issues
Build a Relationship with a Doctor
Another benefit of having a complete medical examination is being able to create a relationship with a physician. Because doctor’s appointments are often brief, a person might not feel like they have the opportunity for their healthcare provider to get the full picture of their health. It is important for the doctor to know as much as they can about their patient, even if it’s small details about what impacts their daily life (such as stressors). Not all medications or treatments are right for everyone, and it is important to have healthcare that is tailored to a person’s individual needs. A comprehensive medical evaluation gives a person the opportunity and time to talk to their doctor about concerns and create a plan for how to make changes. Having a good relationship with a physician makes it easier to discuss sensitive health concerns or fears. It also allows a person to feel more comfortable asking questions about their health.
Identify Health Issues
Prevent Health Issues
How Often Should a Person Have a Complete Physical Examination?