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Posted: January 12, 2018

Trump's physical exam: Here's what will happen; who will conduct it; when results will be released

For the AJC
Presidential Physical Exams: What You Need to Know

By Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

President Donald Trump is scheduled to have a medical exam on Friday, his first since taking office nearly a year ago.

Trump, 71, on Thursday, predicted the exam would “go very well,” and said he would be “very surprised if it doesn't."

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The exam is a standard one that anyone in their 70s would have -- checking cholesterol and lipid (fat-like substances found in the blood) levels, evaluating blood pressure, vision and sight function, and screening for cancer, heart disease and any other age-related issue.

Trump has claimed his physical health has always been strong. In 2015, his personal physician, Dr. Harold Bornstein, declared that if Trump should be elected president, he would be "the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”

However, almost since he announced he was running for office, questions about Trump’s mental health have lingered. In December, Yale psychiatry professor Dr. Bandy X. Lee briefed members of Congress on concerns about Trump’s mental fitness to be president, despite advice from the American Psychiatric Association not to suggest a diagnosis of any mental health issue if the person has not personally examined the individual in question.

Such questions about mental fitness, which for other presidents have largely remained out of the public realm, will not be answered by today’s exam. Here’s what will happen.

The president’s check-up

Where is the exam taking place?

The president will travel to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, for the check-up.

Who will conduct the exam?

White House physician Ronny Jackson will conduct the exam, White House officials said. Dr. Jackson performed President Barack Obama's last few presidential check-ups.

When will we know the results?

Jackson is expected to release a statement Friday after the checkup. White House sources say Jackson is scheduled to give a more in-depth information to reporters on Tuesday.

What will he likely reveal?

Usually, not a lot. The results have most often been a general recounting of the president's height, weight, cholesterol levels and the like. Past presidents have received a “fit to serve as president” stamp of approval following the exam.
Here’s a copy of the results of one of President Barack Obama’s checkups.

Do we know anything about any of President Trump’s other physical exams?

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump's physician released a summary of his health that included his height, weight (236 pounds), cholesterol (HDL 63, LDL 94, triglycerides 61), blood pressure (116/70), blood sugar (99)and results of liver, thyroid, heart and colon exams.

Do presidents have to have a physical while they are in office?

No, there is no requirement that a person has to have a medical exam of any kind while they serve as president.

Will it address mental health?

No, the exam will not evaluate Trump’s mental health. 


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