I do not believe a time ever existed when clinicians believed that their physical examination skills were ideal and did not need improvement. Nor do I think there has ever been a time when clinicians did not lament the skills of their trainees. What is different now is that the advent of high-quality clinical examination research, driven by the evidence-based medicine movement, converts the transparency of our deficits to the “full monty.” It is possible that our skills are no worse than ever, but our awareness has improved.
Simel DL. Time, Now, to Recover the Fun in the Physical Examination Rather Than Abandon It. Arch Intern Med. 2006;166(6):603-604. doi:10.1001/archinte.166.6.603