The use of physical examination to determine the health of people is not new. Medical literature reveals that periodic health examinations were required of the Spartans of an ancient Greece. American doctors have encouraged periodic health examination of children and adults as a preventive health measure since so many years ago.
The Pap Smear test for a woman is a specific example of an examination technique that can predict the development of cervical cancer several years before the woman might notice signs and symptoms of the insidious disease.
On the other hand, physical examination may determine that bothersome symptoms do not Herald a dangerous disease. A man who suffers from abdominal pains and fears he has stomach cancer would be relieved to learn after a clinical examination that the problem is only nervous tension, which can be corrected by other means. Heart palpitations and breathlessness similarly might be found through a doctors physical examination to be due to anxiety rather than heart disease.
The Importance of Periodic Physical examination
What are the four objectives of Periodic Physical examination?
- To detect abnormalities so that early diagnosis and treatment can prevent disability and premature death, especially from chronic diseases.
- To improve the individuals understanding of health and disease.
- To provide specific preventive health measures such as immunizations and advice about such lifestyle matters as cigarette smoking and weight control.
- To establish good relations between patient and doctor as a basis for continuing health maintenance.