June 17, 1974

Physical Examinations By Physician's Assistants

Author Affiliations

Atlanta, Ga

JAMA. 1974;228(12):1522-1523. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230370020013

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To the Editor.—  The history and physical examination are not primarily designed to please people. There are, in fact, certain aspects of the procedure that are inevitably unpleasant. It is that process by which the entire medical knowledge of a physician is brought into a dynamic consideration of the total physical and mental health of a human being. The knowledge required for the procedure to be maximally productive is massive and utterly beyond the capabilities of one of the pleasant young men and women prepared by the various Medex programs about the country. The judgment of a lay person on this point is worthless; the fact that some or many or all were pleased with the performance is of no ultimate scientific value.Sadly, the fact is true that throughout history the laity has been pleased with a variety of charlatan practices ranging from uranium belts proposed to restore libido