Preventive care can catch illnesses and conditions early on, and one of the very best ways to do this is to get a routine physical. If you live or work in St. Louis and would like a physical, simply stop into North City Urgent Care, where Dr. Daniel Bekele and his team perform general checkups and physicals tailored to school, work, sports, and Department of Transportation requirements. For faster service, pre-register via the online portal.

What are physicals?

Usually administered once per year, physicals are basic medical examinations. A visit to your doctor is like a tune-up, a check for signs of common health conditions. These routine exams play a good part in preventive care.

What are the benefits of a physical?

Annual physical exams offer many benefits, such as:

  • Early disease detection

  • Learning and preventing lifestyle-related conditions

  • Clearance to work (when passed), as required by some employers

  • Assessing potential risk factors

  • Diet, exercise, and treatment advice

  • Developing healthy habits and awareness

  • Peace of mind

  • Strengthening the relationship with your PCP

In any case, physicals are an important part of your overall health care plan.

What does a physical check for?

Doctors and patients alike rely on physical exams to find common medical issues. During your physical, Dr. Bekele or a nursing assistant records your height and weight measurements, asks questions about any ongoing issues or pain development, and performs other simple tests.

Most physicians examine:

  • Skin appearance

  • Mental state

  • Medical history

  • Vaccination status

  • Risky lifestyle habits (drug or alcohol use, sexual activity, smoking)

  • Diet and exercise habits

  • Vital signs (heart rate and rhythm, breath rate and ease, temperature, blood pressure)

  • Motor skills, reflexes, and balance

  • Oral health

  • Other infection zones (lymph nodes, thyroid, abdomen, eyes, ear canals, nostrils)

Dr. Bekele looks for signs of illnesses and health conditions like heart disease, lung disease, skin cancer, dementia, obesity, and heart arrhythmia.

Certain lab tests may be recommended in order to detect health issues, such as a weakened immune system, diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, bad cholesterol levels, and other possible conditions like colon cancer (if you’re over 50 years of age).

How do physicals differ by gender?

Physicals vary by gender, just as some health conditions do, and Dr. Bekele performs specific checks. For instance, he tests men for testicular lumps, which can be linked to diseases like cancer. He often tests for hernias and checks the penis and prostate for abnormalities associated with cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.

In female physicals, Dr. Bekele looks for signs of cancer by checking for breast and lymph node lumps, especially if these illnesses are hereditary. If you’re a woman over 40, he’ll often recommend you go to a specialty clinic for mammograms. Routine pelvic exams with Pap smears and HPV tests are designed to spot early signs of cervical cancer.

If you’re local to St. Louis and are in need of a physical for school or work, or are due for an annual exam, visit North City Urgent Care today.