Health Maintenance Examination

What is A Health Maintenance Evaluation?

One of the most important changes these days relates to what we have always known as the Annual Physical.

A Health maintenance Examination (HME) is a routine test your primary care provider (PCP) performs to check your overall health. A PCP may be a doctor, a Nurse practitioner or a physician assistant.

This is a good time, to ask your PCP questions about your health or discuss any changes you may have noticed. A HME helps to determine the general status of your health and may vary depending on your age and sex.

These exams are use to:

  • Check for possible diseases so they can be treated early
  • Identify any issues that may become medical concerns in the future
  • Update necessary immunizations
  • Ensure you are maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine
  • Build a relationship with your PCP
  • Obtain needed screening tests at the right intervals

How to Prepare

  • Bring a list of current medications you take, including over-the-counter drugs and any herbal supplements
  • List of any symptoms or pain you are experiencing
  • Results from any recent or relevant tests
  • Medical and social history
  • Names and contact information for other doctors you may have seen recently
  • If you have an implanted device such as a pacemaker or defibrillator, bring a copy of your device card.
  • Any additional questions you would like answered

The Physical Exam

History: before meeting with your PCP, a nurse will ask you a series of questions regarding your medical history, including any allergies, past surgeries, or symptoms you might have. They will quiz you regarding your lifestyle, including exercise, sexual health, if you smoke or drink alcohol.

Vital Signs: Height, Weight, and Pulse. Your BMI will be calculated. Body Mass Index is your weight in relation to your height.

General Appearance: Your doctor gathers a large amount of information about you and your health just by watching and talking to you. How is your memory and mental quickness? Does your skin appear healthy? Can you easily stand and walk?

Heart Exam: Listening to your heart with a stethoscope, a doctor might detect an irregular heartbeat, a heart murmur or other clues to heart disease.

Lung Exam: Using a stethoscope, a doctor listens for crackles, wheezes, or decreased breath sounds. These and other sounds are clues to the presence of heart disease or lung disease.

lmmunizations: As Indicated
Influenza: yearly
TDAP/td: required every 10 years once TDap is received
Zoster(shingles): At age 60
Hep C
Pneumococcal Vaccine: At age 65

Lab Screening: there are no standard laboratory tests, however some providers will order certain tests routinely.

Complete blood counts
Chemistry panel

A screening Lipid panel (cholesterol) is recommended every 4-6 years. if you have risk factors, it may be checked more frequently Abnormal cholesterol levels increase the risk for heart attacks and strokes.

If you are overweight, or have risk factors for diabetes, your blood sugar will be checked.

Physicals Emphasize Prevention:

Breast cancer Screening
Colon cancer Screening
Osteoporosis Screening
HIV Screening: As Indicated
STD testing as needed
Depression Risk Assessment

Head and Neck Exam: Opening up and Saying ah shows off your throat and tonsils. The quality of your teeth and gums also provides information about your overall health. Ears, nose, sinuses, eyes, lymph nodes, thyroid, and carotid arteries may also be examined.

Abdominal Exam: Your doctor can use a range of examination techniques including tapping your abdomen to detect liver size and presence of abdominal fluid, listening for bowel sounds with a stethoscope, and palpating for tenderness.

Neurological Exam: Nerves, muscle strength, reflexes, balance, and mental state may be assessed.

Dermatological Exam: Skin And nail findings could indicate a dermatological problem or disease somewhere else in the body.

Extremities Exam: Your doctor will look for physical and sensory changes. Pulses can be checked in your arms and legs. Examining joints can assess for abnormalities.

Men’s Health: Testicular exam /Prostate Exam for Men: PSA screenings based on age. Not routinely unless indicated. May be referred.

Women’s Health: pap test, pelvic, and breast exams if needed.