Annual Physical Exams in Pittsburgh
An annual physical, sometimes called an annual physical exam, is a helpful resource in addressing a variety of health problems. Specifically, exams can help patients address problems in their earliest stages, or even before they fully develop. By having your vitals monitored -- and by getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments on a regular basis -- you can take steps to feel and live your best for years to come.
At Direct Care Physicians of Pittsburgh (DCPP), our focus is providing preventative care through the Direct Primary Care model. That means we’re interested in spending the time and energy it takes to find and target potential risks to your health rather than waiting until you actually become sick or injured. Regular physicals are one of the most important ways of preventing health struggles for you and your entire family.
Routine & Sports Physicals Across Wexford & Pittsburgh
Comprehensive Physicals for the Whole Family
At Direct Care Physicians of Pittsburgh, we offer physical services to anyone and everyone signed up for our care. Different physicals are also available to meet a variety of needs and requirements, including:
- Providing a basic physical, i.e. an overview of your current state of health and guidelines on how to maintain or improve it.
- Checking on a child's development, i.e. reviewing a child's health, medical history, and developmental changes prior to the beginning of a school year.
- Clearing children for school sports, i.e. meeting a sport program's requirements and ensuring a child is fit enough to safely play a specific sport.
- Meeting driving requirements, i.e. adhering to PA state law and completing a physical before obtaining a driver's permit or CDL.
Note that you can also spend half an hour with one of our doctors during an initial consultation, where you can explore the DPC care model and ask us questions directly. You will have no obligation to register with us following a consultation. No medical advice or treatment will be offered at this consultation.
FAQs on Physicals:
What May be Included in an Annual Physical?
An annual physical can include any combination of the following:
- A review of your medical history, as well as the medical history of immediate family members.
- Observing a patient's general appearance, skin, mannerisms, and even movements can each provide some clues to an overall state of health.
- Checking key vitals, including blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate, and temperature.
- Checking the heart and lungs via a stethoscope, which is used to listen for an irregular heartbeat, a heart murmur, and/or crackles, wheezes, or decreased breath sounds.
- Conducting a number of external exams, which may focus on the state of the head, neck, abdomen, skin, joints, etc.
- The ordering of lab tests, such as urinalysis (typically used to confirm a diagnosis based on specific symptoms).
Do Children Need Annual Physicals?
Yes! Children often need to visit more doctors than adults, just because they’re still developing, and each doctor they visit focuses on a different aspect of their health. (This is especially true during early development, when a pediatric doctor will set a specific schedule for parents to adhere to.) In addition to annual visits, school-age children may also need school physicals and sports physicals.
What Are School Physicals?
School physicals are exams conducted specifically to comply with a local school district’s attendance requirements. They focus on general wellness, allowing doctors and families to monitor a child’s growth and development. They also allow families to check in on healthcare scheduling needs, such as vaccinations. However, these short assessments do not go as in-depth as other physicals, so follow-up visits should be made accordingly.
What Are Sports Physicals?
Sports physicals -- or preparticipation physical examinations (PPE) -- are exams conducted specifically to determine if it is safe for a child to participate in a particular sport. These exams focus on medical history and include a physical examination. The results of the PPE will help ultimately families prepare their child for a sport.
For example, if a child is vulnerable to asthma attacks, an inhaler may be prescribed to keep them safe on the field. Your care physicians can also identify areas that may be prone to injury. Many doctors also suggest tips and exercises to help avoid future problems, both during practice and during games.