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Murphy101

? Physicals and annual/biannual medical exams

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I think I'm due for a physical and general check up and would like to know what that should include?

 

I'm thinking a pelvic, but what all should that cover?

 

A blood work up, but what should that include? (I know I want a hormone check and iron, but what else?)

 

I know I want to get an epi pen and an inhaler. I have mentioned previously that my allergies and asthma seem to be getting worse with age.

 

What else would be suggested and why?

 

I've read people on here presuming a lot of things are checked and done that I have never once had done, much less seen done for a well check. So I'm paying out if pocket and don't want to waste, but do want to cover the most important things.

 

Thank you.

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The pelvic exam normally includes a pap smear and a physical exam. Normally, a physical includes checking ones lungs, a br**st exam, reflex check, as well as a battery of questions and bloodwork. I doubt your doctor would separate each part, other than lab work, as far as fees go.

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I would have no idea. I personally don't know anyone who has a regular physical examination. Maybe it is some American thing?

 

I don't know if it's normal elsewhere but it is in the United States. Most insurances cover a once a year "wellness" exam. Things like br**st exams, pap smears, and over all health are examined. Cholesterol and blood pressure are checked as well.

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I'm not worried necessarily about separating out things on the bill so much as going in knowing what I want to expect.

 

What, exactly does the Pap test? What, exactly, does a physical exam mean? In the past, they felt the boobs and that's it.

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I would have no idea. I personally don't know anyone who has a regular physical examination. Maybe it is some American thing?

 

In the UK, women are called in for Pap smears regularly (spacing based on medical history) and for mammograms from age 50.  Cholesterol etc. screening is done from middle age - not sure what date as I'm a slightly unusual case.  Blood pressure, etc. would also be screened as part of contraceptive advice.  Bowel cancer screening also starts from age 50.

 

L

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I'm not worried necessarily about separating out things on the bill so much as going in knowing what I want to expect.

 

What, exactly does the Pap test? What, exactly, does a physical exam mean? In the past, they felt the boobs and that's it.

 

The pap smear takes some cells from your cervix to test for abnormalities.  It spots early cancerous growths.  You lie down, the doctor uses a speculum and scrapes off a few cells with a special stick; these are sent away for viewing.

 

L

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Normally if you schedule an annual exam (at least at all the doctors I've been to) they have a set routine for what they cover.  Part of this is just because they've streamlined the process but part of it is because I would imagine that insurance wants to pay for the same thing for each patient.  Some of the exam is going to depend on age - for example once you hit 50, usually a colonoscopy is recommended at certain intervals.  An annual exam is when a doctor will order certain screening tests based on your age and/or your medical history.   I would expect a basic blood panel (complete blood count) and cholesterol test at least.  Now often doctors will test your glucose level too.  

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In the UK, women are called in for Pap smears regularly (spacing based on medical history) and for mammograms from age 50.  Cholesterol etc. screening is done from middle age - not sure what date as I'm a slightly unusual case.  Blood pressure, etc. would also be screened as part of contraceptive advice.  Bowel cancer screening also starts from age 50.

 

L

Here a health nurse can do the pap smear. I think you are meant to have it done every 2 years or so.

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Just read about an interesting study which concluded that the annual physical exam does not decrease morbidity or mortality. This does not mean one should forego preventative care, however.

 

What is included in an annual physical exam is based on gender, age, past medical history, family history, and any specific complaints or ailments. Also, some social history like whether one smokes or drinks or how many past partners may change what is included. Without knowing all those things about you, we cannot recommend what tests to suggest. You should share your answers with the physician who will then make recommendations.

 

As a side, many will schedule the PAP smear on a separate visit, so you may want to find out in advance.

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The pap smear takes some cells from your cervix to test for abnormalities. It spots early cancerous growths. You lie down, the doctor uses a speculum and scrapes off a few cells with a special stick; these are sent away for viewing.

 

L

LOLOL. I know how a pap is done.

 

They don't just check for abnormalities though.

 

For example, I'm not interested in paying for STD checking. I'm pretty sure I don't have Gomorrah.

 

ETA: LOLOL. Oh my goodness that's one awesome appropriate autocorrect mishap for an STD!

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I called and asked but the nurse said she didn't know and had never had someone ask. She just kept saying, "It's just a standard exam and testing." What the?

 

*sigh*

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LOLOL. I know how a pap is done.

 

 

 

That's fine - I didn't want to be rude (You mean you don't know what happens at a pap?) but I wasn't quite sure what you were asking.

 

L

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For example, I'm not interested in paying for STD checking.

 

AFAIK my gyn doesn't check for STD except for what is part of the normal pap--HPV, I think? She does a manual check including a rectal check (and some sort of slide gets smeared with that--sorry for the mental image but that's what it is). Like a pp mentioned she also checks blood pressure and lungs. She also palpates the thyroid and does the breast exam. Oh, and she has a urine sample checked and checks blood iron content. It sounds like a lot--out of order like this--but it's been part of a routine exam with several docs I've seen for the gyn exam over the years.

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I wanted to mention you might just want to call the doctor's office and see what they say about what to expect. I imagine it would be slightly different expectations if you were seeing a GP or a Gyn. My gyn is nearly like a GP in that she wants to know what my cholesterol, thyroid, blood sugar numbers are. She'll ask when I had them done last and if she can get that from another doc she'll do that. Otherwise she'll order the test herself. My insurance covers that. You could always refuse the testing.

 

At my GP they will not normally do a "physical" where they check everything. You have to have a specific complaint. Then they decide what tests should be done and how to code it so insurance pays. Everything is about insurance. Since you're paying for it yourself you'll want to know exactly what to expect beforehand so you're not caught off guard at your appointment.

 

ETA: And when you ask about procedures ask about pricing. Dh says he hears that for cash payments you should only be paying around 50% of what they normally charge when insurance is involved.

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I'd be very specific. Last time I went in te gal just talked with me. What? I've never had any testing done and hadn't been to the regular doctor in years.

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