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Int J Cardiol. 2016 Oct 15;221:55-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2016.06.328. Epub 2016 Jul 1.

Should doctors still examine patients?

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Division of Cardiology, University of Florida College of Medicine, United States.
Division of Cardiology, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK, United States.
Division of Cardiology, Methodist Hospital, Dallas, TX, United States. Electronic address:
Division of Cardiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States.
Division of Cardiology, Aurora Medical Group, Milwaukee, WI, United States.


The physical examination skills of young physicians in training need careful examination as advancing technology seems to have replaced those skills compared to prior generations of physicians. A question to ponder is how should medical education address the convincing evidence that physician trainees of today are less astute at the physical examination than those that came before them? This inquiry must address whether the decline in physical examination skills hinders accurate, cost effective, and timely diagnoses. Additionally, it must consider whether the absence of a comprehensive physical examination impairs the patient-physician relationship. This type of inquiry leads to the conclusion that the physical examination and technology must be merged as the clinical situation dictates to provide accurate, cost effective and accurate diagnoses. The carefully performed physical examination in conjunction with a detailed history should dictate the use of our ever-advancing technologic advances in medicine.


Advancing technology in medicine; Physical examination skills; Physician training

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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