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Book and Media Reviews
January 18, 2012

Systematic Musculoskeletal Examinations

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: John L. Zeller, MD, PhD, Contributing Editor.

Author Affiliation: Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor (

JAMA. 2012;307(3):309-310. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.2031

Systematic Musculoskeletal Examinations is an interesting and easy-to-follow guide to the organized approach of a good musculoskeletal physical examination. The author begins by emphasizing the need for a thorough clinical history, followed by examination “to confirm or refute diagnostic hypotheses generated by a thoughtful history.” The author also emphasizes that “skill building is more than ‘Head’ knowledge”; in other words, knowledge of anatomy and disease processes is important, but there is likewise a need for a detailed set of psychomotor skills. To that end, the book is full of practical, useful photographs, diagrams, and helpful tips that encourage the reader to understand and attempt to reproduce the techniques with confidence in a clinical or learning setting.

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