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Physical examination

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Physical exam of child with stethoscope on chest
Physical exam of child with stethoscope on chest

A physical examination is the process by which physicians and other healthcare workers, examine the patient by systematically conducting various maneuvers such as inspection, palpation, percussion, auscultation and perform various other tests to elicit symptoms and or signs.

On a SOAP note, a physical examination is usually preceded by a clinical history and goes under the objective part (SOAP stands for Subjective, Objective, Assessment and Plan)


A basic physical examination consists of vital signs

A doctor examining a patient
A doctor examining a patient

Systemic physical examination

Clinical signs

See also

Latest research - Physical examination

Clinical trials


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