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Exploring the "fading art" of the physical exam

In a Morning Edition segment today, NPR reporter Richard Knox explored how many physicians are abbreviating or skipping the time-honored physical exam. Some are bucking that trend, though, including Stanford's Abraham Verghese, MD, who told NPR:

You know, we often spend so much time with that entity in the computer - I call it the 'iPatient,' like your iPad and your iPhone. And the real patient in the bed is often left wondering, 'Where is everybody? What are they doing?' I sense that we're spending very little time at the bedside.

Verghese is a strong advocate for "hands-on" medicine, and he teaches medical trainees the importance of observation and using one's senses to learn about a patient. As mentioned in the piece, Stanford's medical students are also asked to master 25 bedside exam skills before moving on.

Previously: The power of touch in the exam room, PBS NewsHour profiles Stanford's Abraham Verghese and Hands on: Abraham Verghese teaches bedside skills

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