The Who, What, and Why of Pre-Participation Exams

sports exams


In the sports medicine world, a pre-participation physical examination (PPE) helps determine whether or not it’s safe for a child or teenager to participate in a sport or event. Some schools require a PPE in order to compete, but even if it is not required, most doctors highly recommend it for all youth who plan on participating in competitive sports.


A PPE consists of both a medical history report and a physical examination. The medical history gives essential information about previous health history such as medications, allergies, previous illnesses, injuries, disabilities, etc. Please be open and honest when filling out medical histories, as these will help your provider make the best and safest recommendation for your child’s participation. 

The physical examination consists of recording vital signs such as blood pressure and heart rate, testing vision, checking the heart and lungs, and evaluating your child’s posture and flexibility. Although most aspects of the PPE are the same for males and females, your provider may ask different questions depending on gender and if your child has started or is going through puberty. Your provider may also ask questions relating to using drugs, tobacco, alcohol, or other supplements like performance enhancers that may affect health.


A PPE will help youth discover and deal with health issues that could interfere with their sports performance. As in all health care, prevention from injury or illness is key to success and progress. A sports physical examination can not only prevent the negative outcomes, it can create and cultivate a formula for success for your child’s sports season.

Don’t know where to go to get your child’s PPE? Don’t worry – we got you covered!

The LiVe Well Center at Park City Medical Center offers PPE services through our Sports Medicine Physicians, including Dr. Max Testa. The diagnostic testing includes a physical exam, medical history, musculoskeletal exam, labs (as needed), and medical clearance. We also offer additional services for athletes looking to improve their performance at an elite level, including resting ECG/pulmonary function testing, VO2 testing, and functional movement screening. Visit our WEBSITE to learn more on these additional services.

Whether you’re looking for peace of mind, improved performance, or injury prevention, a PPE is the right step for you and your child to move forward toward the upcoming season! Call the LiVe Well Center at 435.333.3535 to schedule an appointment today!