Tag Archives: Physical exam
Dr. Joseph S. Alpert

Will Physicians Stop Performing Physical Examinations?

In the 21st century, debate continues concerning the value of the physical examination.1, 2, 3, 4 That such a hallowed and respected ritual of clinical medicine should even be questioned is the result of the remarkable advances during the last 50 years in imaging technology and laboratory medicine. When I was a student and resident in the late 1960s […]

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doctor gives a physical examination of a patient

The Five-Minute Moment

In today’s hospital and clinic environment, the obstacles to bedside teaching for both faculty and trainees are considerable. As electronic health record systems become increasingly prevalent, trainees are spending more time performing patient care tasks from computer workstations, limiting opportunities to learn at the bedside. Physical examination skills rarely are emphasized, and low confidence levels, […]

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A Diagnosis at Hand: Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

A classic physical examination finding pointed to underlying disease in a 43-year-old Hispanic woman. On presenting to the Emergency Department, she reported progressive shortness of breath, fatigue, and chest pressure. One month earlier, she could exercise without limitation. However, in the ensuing interval, she developed increasing dyspnea and constant, nonexertional, left-sided chest pressure. A review […]

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Terry’s Nails: A Window to Systemic Diseases

Despite the enormous involvement of imaging tools in medicine, a focused physical examination still plays a pivotal role in all medical fields. During and after taking history, a detailed inspection and examination of the patient will direct to further key diagnostic tools. A wealth of information can be gained from shaking hands and examining the […]

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Stop, You’re Making Me Blush

The physical examination is vital in assessing a patient’s presenting symptom, especially when the symptom is dermatologic in nature. However, if the dermatologic examination shows no abnormality on presentation, further measures must be completed to illicit such symptoms. In our patient, this involved provoking the physical examination finding through exercise. Case Presentation A 26-year-old woman […]

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