Physical examination

During a physical examination, a health care provider checks 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, usually with a stethoscope)
  • Percussion (producing sounds, usually by tapping on specific areas of the body)