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The careful and complete history and physical examination of the patient with a cardiac problem is not adequately stressed today in the training of physicians in the United States. Rather, medical students and physicians seek diagnostic answers for patients with cardiac problems from echocardiograms and Doppler ultrasonic studies, from radionucleotide examinations, from cardiac catheterization, and from computed tomographic and positron emission tomography studies.
However, extremely important clues to the cardiac diagnosis, and often the diagnosis itself, can be obtained from a careful and complete history and physical examination of the patient. Recognizing this, Dr Jules Constant carefully documents the essential features of the complete history of a cardiac patient and discusses the salient points of all the major heart sounds and murmurs so that the careful reader and practitioner may become a more precise cardiac diagnostician.
Dr Constant employes a Socratic approach of systematic questions followed by concise but fact-filled
Henning RJ. Essentials of Bedside Cardiology: For Students and House Staff. JAMA. 1990;263(1):122-123. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440010120045