From sports and work physicals to annual health exams, the team at San Marcos Family Medicine helps patients in San Marcos, Texas, and the surrounding Central Texas communities stay as healthy as possible. Annual physicals help rule out medical problems, check overall health, screen for various diseases, and ensure a patient is ready for the physical demands of a sports activity or job.

Physicals Q & A

Why do schools and employers require physicals?

Schools that have sports teams and employers that have physically demanding work will require physicals to ensure that students or employees can handle the tasks given. These physicals will test the individual’s flexibility and strength to determine if any risk exists when performing the duties of the job or the sport. This gives employers the ability to know of any impairments that would put the job or the individual’s co-workers at risk and gives schools the ability to ensure students who participate in sports activities are physically fit to do so.

What can a patient expect at a physical?

At San Marcos Family Medicine, doctors will start a physical with a questionnaire about health and family health history. Then, the doctor will thoroughly inspect and evaluate the patient’s body, testing strength and flexibility while visually checking for signs of problems. This may involve physical touch to critical areas of the body as well as visual assessment.

Many types of physicals also require routine lab work, such as a TB test for healthcare workers or a drug test for employment of many kinds. Patients will also have their height, weight, and blood pressure checked at the exam. At the end of the physical, the doctors at San Marcos Family Medicine will make any age-appropriate health recommendations or recommend further testing for potential problems found.

How often does a patient need a physical?

An annual wellness exam, which is a type of physical, is a wise idea, as it helps doctors screen for health conditions that don’t have many symptoms. Physicals may be required for work or school purposes.

What should a patient bring to a physical?

Patients who have had recent lab work or diagnostic testing should bring it with them to the physical appointment. Patients should also bring any medications or supplements they’re taking. Any relevant medical history that the patient might forget should have documentation at the appointment as well. Finally, patients need to bring the forms from school or work for the doctor to complete.

How long are physicals effective?

A physical taken for sports or work purposes is effective for a set period of time. These timeframes are:

  • Work physical: Effective 12 months from exam date
  • Sports physical: Effective for 12 months through the month the physical took place
  • Special education physical: Effective for 3 years

Those who need a physical should call or schedule an appointment online with the team at San Marcos Family Medicine.