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)
Simel DL. Approach to the patient: history and physical examination.In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman’s Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 6.