Sunday, October 17, 2010

A lost art?

From the New York Times article "Physician Revives a Dying Art: The Physical":
He is out to save the physical exam because it seems to be wasting away, he says, in an era of CT, ultrasound, M.R.I., countless lab tests and doctor visits that whip by like speed dates. Who has not felt slighted by a stethoscope applied through the shirt, or a millisecond peek into the throat?
Some doctors would gladly let the exam go, claiming that much of it has been rendered obsolete by technology and that there are better ways to spend their time with patients. Some admit they do the exam almost as a token gesture, only because patients expect it.
Medical schools in the United States have let the exam slide, Dr. Verghese says, noting that over time he has encountered more and more interns and residents who do not know how to test a patient’s reflexes or palpate a spleen.
Click here to access the NYT article.  As my stepfather, who was a large animal veterinarian, always taught me...H&P, H&P, H&P!

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