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The Good, the Bad, and the Weird. 10 Things your Doctor Does and Why.

From the functional to the annoying, doctors do some odd things. Here are just some of them and why.

Why does my doctor…

Do annual exams?

Annual examinations are all about risk reduction and early diagnosis of serious health problems. Certain cancers become more common after certain ages, so cancer-related screenings are necessary from time to time. Your doctor also initiates screening for common diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Additionally, she uses the annual visit to administer any vaccinations.

Rush through visits?

Like any other industry, the capitalists have taken over. The bottom line is most important. Schedules are packed, with doctors seeing 16 patient’s in 4 hours. That’s 15 minutes per visit with very little wiggle room! Despite their best attempts, the appointments always end up running behind anyway.

Make me say ah when looking into my mouth?

On the roof of your mouth, there is a soft palate. This area lifts when you open wide and say, “ah.” That’s one way to determine if your vagus nerve is functioning.

Make me turn my head and cough during the sports physical?

During men’s sports physicals, the doctor will place one finger in the inguinal canal. This is the channel through which testicles descend when you’re a baby. Sometimes hernias develop in this passageway. When the doctor places his finger in there and has you cough or bear down, she can feel pressure from a hernia.

Only weird doctor’s like to be coughed on. Hence, the head-turn.

Put a finger in my___?

The doctor may be checking for bleeding, hemorrhoids, or masses in your rectum.

If you are a male, she will also be checking your prostate. It is relatively easy to determine whether there are lumps or enlargement.

For women, a complete pelvic exam includes a manual exam where the physician feels for your ovaries and any enlargement or cysts. She may also gently manipulate your cervix to detect any tenderness or decreased mobility.

Hate their computer?

Electronic medical records are relatively new. Like older adults in the community, older adults in the medical field don’t feel particularly technologically savvy. Some of the electronic medical records are not very intuitive to use. They often require much more detail and note-writing than doctors did throughout much of history.

Ask if you’re, ignore your answer, and do a pregnancy test anyway?

The doctor should always ask you if you are pregnant. It doesn’t matter if you take birth control or state you are not having sex. You will get a pregnancy test anyway. I know this upsets many women, but doctors are lied to, often. And even if you “know” you’re without child because you take birth control, it is possible to be pregnant. The pregnancy test will prove once and for all, whether you are pregnant. No one wants to expose your unborn child to radiation or medications, which can be damaging.

Ask about my meds every time?

Most good doctors with a sound system know which medications you are prescribed. Once you have multiple doctors, your med list may have various versions of the same medicine. Doses may vary. The dosing frequency may vary. It is impossible to sort this out without asking. Additionally, even if your doctor has an accurate list, she won’t know if you are taking all of your medications as prescribed.

Ask my medical history every time?

Your history may change between visits. Your doctor may not have seen records from outside doctors or hospital admissions. So she will double-check to see if anything new has occurred in the interim.

Fill out forms?

Many times these forms include medication lists and updated medical history as above. You may also get a PHQ-9 form, which is a depression screening test. The GAD-7 form screens for generalized anxiety. Your doctor screens you since depression and anxiety are both common and challenging to diagnose.


Self-improvement is a life-style. If you’re at a roadblock in life or you just want to be happier, visit The Doctor’s Orders for a new perspective on self-improvement. Think of it as common sense on steroids.

Until next time my people.

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