The Physical Exam: A Lost Art?

the MPR take:

As doctors are experiencing an increased pressure for maximum productivity in the least amount of time, many are juggling patient chronic conditions, acute concerns, lab tests, medications, education, and counseling in the typical 15-minute appointment. Danielle Ofri, MD argues that physicians need to focus once again on the physical exam without the distraction of technology for insight that has become overlooked in patient-doctor interactions. The ability to talk directly to a patient on an exam table shifts the dynamic from distracted and separated by a computer to direct and enlightening. In addition, Dr. Ofri believes that listening to the patient history is essential – as she states, “the words of the patient are the most sensitive diagnostic tool I’ve yet come across.” CTs and other imaging can reveal quite a bit, but so too can words and doctor-patient interactions.

Physical Exams More Important Than Ever
Physical Exams More Important Than Ever

The physical exam is one of the unique characteristics of the doctor-patient encounter; a visit to a doctor doesn't seem the same without one. Visits are shorter and doctors have to spend most of their time at the computer filling out the endless electronic medical records that have come to define the modern medical transaction.

READ FULL ARTICLE From The New York Times