Usually the general and regional inspection are done first and then followed by the systematic (systems) examination. A special examination (e.g. rectal examination) is only done if there is a good indication.
It is important to do the physical examination in a fixed order. Otherwise, parts of the examination may be forgotten. However, the steps are flexible and in younger children parts of the examination that may hurt or frighten the child or require an instrument (e.g. examining the throat) are often left for last. Most mistakes in diagnosis come from incomplete examination.