July 7, 2010— -- Once you've found the right doctor, it may be time to consider getting an annual checkup.
On today's "Good Morning America," senior health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser discussed the typical parts of a physical exam. In a routine exam, a doctor or a physician's assistant will measure your height and weight, take your blood pressure, listen to your heart and lungs with a stethoscope, and examine your abdomen and other organs, said Besser.
"The most important thing to do in your appointment is talk openly with your doctor so that he or she can personalize your care," he said.
It's also important to bring along vaccine records and other previous exam records to your initial doctor's appointment, said Besser. A doctor will often recommend additional screening tests based on your age, gender, and family history.
While it may be hard to keep track of the name and date of each test you've had, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, offers a chart to help you keep track of when you took a test along with your score.
Once you've found the right doctor, print out the following charts and bring them along to your physical exam.
CLICK HERE to print out the test record chart for men.
CLICK HERE to print out the test record chart for women.