A physical is a comprehensive medical exam that serves a preventive purpose. Doctors typically advise patients to schedule this procedure every year. This allows providers to identify and treat minor issues before they evolve. You may also be required to receive a medical clearance physical if you’re in certain fields or undergoing treatment. If you’re required to schedule one, you may wonder what to expect. To prepare you for your upcoming appointment, here’s more information about why this test is required and what will be checked. 

When Are Medical Clearance Physicals Necessary?

physicalThe primary purpose of a medical clearance physical is to confirm that the patient is healthy enough to partake in a designated activity. For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires individuals who wish to obtain their commercial driver’s license (CDL) to undergo a medical clearance physical for road safety reasons. Trucking is a demanding job, and those who want to operate a big rig must prove that they're fit enough to do so. 

Medical clearance exams are also often required before undergoing an operation. Some surgical procedures involve general anesthesia, which may be dangerous to those who are older or at an increased risk of heart attacks. As such, doctors want to confirm that their patients are healthy enough before undergoing treatment.

What Happens During the Exam?

Unlike traditional physicals, medical clearance exams do not aim to detect disease. Instead, their purpose is to provide a clear picture of the patient’s current health. Therefore, your doctor will start the appointment by taking your vitals. The rest of the exam will be tailored to the reason for the visit.

Generally speaking, your provider will check your abdomen for any inflammation, test your reflexes, inspect your joints, examine the inside of your mouth, and evaluate the status of any preexisting conditions like diabetes or asthma. Be prepared to discuss your family’s medical history, any troublesome symptoms you’re experiencing, and your lifestyle habits, including drinking and smoking.


If you need to schedule a medical clearance physical, turn to Patients First Medical Clinic in Anchorage, AK. This full-service family practice can meet all your primary and urgent care needs. Backed by over 150 years of combined experience, their friendly staff provides quality care for patients of all ages. Whether you need an X-ray or women’s health services, they’ll be happy to assist. Learn more about physicals on their website or call (907) 333-7425 to schedule an appointment.