During a physical examination, a health care provider studies your body to determine if you do or do not have a physical problem.
A physical examination usually includes:
- Inspection (looking at the body)
- Palpation (feeling the body with fingers or hands)
- Auscultation (listening to sounds)
- Percussion (producing sounds, usually by tapping on specific areas of the body)
Swartz MH, Swartz TH. The physical examination. In: Swartz MH, ed. Textbook of Physical Diagnosis. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 6.