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March 27, 2006

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

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.