A medical test is any kind of diagnostic procedure performed for health reasons. For example:
  • to diagnose diseases
  • to measure the progress or recovery from disease
  • to confirm that a person is free from disease

Some medical tests are parts of a simple physical examination which require only simple tools in the hands of a skilled practitioner, and can be performed in an office environment. Some other tests require elaborate equipment or the use of a sterile operating theatre environment.

Some tests require samples of tissue or body fluids to be sent off to a pathology lab for further analysis. Some simple chemical tests, such as urine pH, can be measured directly in the doctor's office.

Most medical tests are conducted on the living; however, some of these tests can also be carried out on a dead person as part of an autopsy.

Types of medical tests include:

Consulting room tests:

  • auscultation, including listening with a stethoscope
  • weighing, and measuring height and girth
  • measuring blood pressure
  • taking the patient's pulse
  • breath tests
  • reflex tests
  • sight test
    • fundus inspection
  • hearing test
  • digital rectal examination
  • vaginal examination

More invasive examinations requiring sterile procedures: Requiring laboratory analysis: Requiring microscopy
  • Pap tests

Requiring elaborate medical equipment: