Doctors, what do you consider parts of a routine physical?

I had a physical last week that lasted an hour(!). My doctor (who I just started seeing) did two extra things that I’ve never had done before during the course of a routine physical: an EKG and a hearing test. Both of them made me scratch my head inwardly, and they were performed at the end of the physical by a nurse.

I’m a healthy male, in my mid-to-early twenties, with no history of heart problems, and I’ve not complained about anything hearing-related, save twice-a-year ear infections. I’m convinced the hearing test is part of what he does at every physical, because I mentioned my ear infection as an afterthought, after he’d already told me about the hearing test…

Is this normal for physical exams now? Or is it just so he can bill for a bit more from my insurance company?

4 thoughts on “Doctors, what do you consider parts of a routine physical?

  1. Most health providers have guidelines that suggest hearing tests once we reach 65. More and more, because of ipods and the overall increase in enviornmental noise, health providers are recognizing the value in making hearing tests part of routine physicals for all patients. It’s amazing how many younger and younger patients we’re starting to see in the hearing center. Also, with the new digital technology, hearing devices are more sophisticated and better able to help those with mild to moderate losses understand speech in noise much better than before. So, don’t be surprised if what you experienced becomes more common…for a good reason.

  2. One more thing…don’t be surprised if you hear more about hearing loss now that the “Baby Boomers” are moving into the traditional age range when hearing issues become more common.

    Jim Verhoye, M.A., Speech-Communication
    Certified Hearing Instrument Dispenser, #2639
    The Hearing Center @ Jackson Medical
    982 Thomas Ave.
    St. Paul, MN, 55104

  3. I’m sure it seemed weird. My hearing loss was detected when I was 17. It was, and continues to be, a mild loss; however, the digital devices I wear now (I’m 41) help tremendously when I’m in a noisy social situation. We’re finding more and more 20 year olds complaining about not being able to understand speech in noisy social situations, probably due to loud concerts, ipods, and other enviornmental noise exposure. It doesn’t take much for a slight sensorineural loss to occur.

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