I am 18 (almost 19), male, and at the insistence of my parents, will be going for a complete physical next week. I haven't had one for a couple years, only real short checkups for playing sports at school.
This will be with a female Internist and I'm a little nervous. Can anyone help me with some details of what to expect? Will I have to be totally naked? Also I am hoping they don't do rectal exams at my age. Any input any of you have will be appreciated.
Btw I am new to the forum but it seems very interesting.
I don't recall getting rectal exams until maybe my late 20's or early 30's. The fear of them is alot worse than the exams themselves though. Not fun, but I've been thru worse things.
You'll probably have a gown, or at least a sheet to somewhat cover up in. You might just be told to strip down to your boxers, and then you'll probably have to drop them for a short while. I can't really describe what the doc does but he/she will probably check for hernias by putting a finger or two on either side of your scrotum, sort of lifting up a bit (that's what it feels like anyway) and asking you to turn your head and cough.
My current internist does alot of listening to breathing and heart, pressing on my abdomen, testing reflexes, talking about how things are going, etc. An internist I had years ago used to be very interested in your hands and nails as indicators of health. You may get an EKG and a chest xray.
Don't worry too much about being naked. Docs see naked men and women all the time. You won't be the shortest, tallest, thinnest, fattest, hairyest, (ummm... what's the opposite of hairyest?) that your doc has seen. Don't stress about it.
When I've went for a physical in the past, I've sometimes worn a gown, sometimes not. The last time I went (April), I was told that "everything comes off" (including briefs), and to put the gown on. Before that, I wore only briefs, and had to drop them to my ankles for the genital part of the exam.
If you read most physical exam procedures, the doc is supposed to be much more complete than they usually are. Usually, they're supposed to exam your penis, testicles, etc, both in a standing position (to check for hernia, etc)---then with you lying down to do a more thorough exam. Example: to check for lumps in your testicles, to examine your scrotum, to examine the shaft of your penis, check your pubic hair, etc.
I haven't had a testicular exam done by a doc in years. They simply don't have the time---or don't take the time to do a complete check like that anymore---unless you ask for it. I try to examine my own testicles from time to time just to be safe.
If you're only 18, I can't imagine that you'll end up getting a rectal exam. Usually, you end up getting them after 40 if you have a family history of rectal cancer, or after 50 otherwise. If they do one, they're supposed to examine your anal area for rashes, hemrroids, etc, then insert their finger into your rectum to check your prostate---all with you bent over the exam table. But since the docs are always so stretched for time, usually it's just the prostate check, and that's it.
Thanks for the replies! I guess it is inevitable that I will have to be naked, and I am worried about getting an erection too. I think I will call and try and get the appointment changed to a male doctor at least.
I think you're worrying a little too much about it. Mine is scheduled for 8-29, and I know what I'm in for. You have to look at it from a standpoint that they are going to give you thorough inspection and make sure everything is OK. Now whether the doctor is male or female shouldn't make a difference, though I know it does, because I would rather have a female doc than the male I have now (I'm a male BTW). I suggest that you go with the appointment, get it out of the way. I don't think there will be a rectal exam, but if there is, so what. Like was said earlier, the fear is worse than the exam. Plus sooner or later, you will have to have it done. Also, if you should experience some arousal, doctors are fully understanding, and won't make issue of it, so you shouldn't either. My advice (I know, I'm rambling...too much coffee today!) is to go in and know what's up with your health, that's what's most important!
All your replies have been great. I guess I will take your advice Smoothie Guy and just go ahead with the female doctor. I had no idea I will probably have to be totally naked, but I guess I will just have to do it.
I am still living at home and my parents are really forcing the issue. Hopefully I'll be less nervous tomorrow morning.
Given your age, the thing she will most likely be interested in is talking to you. Making sure that you have recieved the "birds and bees" talk, ask about sex partners/frequency, smoking, drugs, etc. She will probably base her exam around those answers to a large degree.
They will probably get some bloodwork to check your cholesterol, and a standard BP, weight, and chem profile / urine sample (to check kidney's).