Special - Your Doctor's Physical Exam May Be BS


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The laying on of hands. The stethoscope. The “does it hurt when I press here.” We are all familiar with the physical exam a doctor does when investigating our symptoms. But in the 21st century, with access to ultrasound and MRI, are these old-fashioned techniques still relevant or just cool parlour tricks? Returning guest Niko joins Chris to discuss the evidence behind hands-on maneuvers taught to medical students to help diagnose a variety of conditions. Warning: you may be shocked.

JAMA’s series on the Rational Clinical Examination: https://jamanetwork.com/collections/6257/the-rational-clinical-examination

(4:44) Scenario #1: A torn meniscus or ligament in the knee

Lachman test: https://www.physio-pedia.com/Lachman_Test

McMurray test: https://www.physio-pedia.com/McMurrays_Test

(17:20) Scenario #2: Carpal tunnel syndrome

Tinel’s test: https://www.physio-pedia.com/Tinel%E2%80%99s_Test

Phalen’s test: https://www.physio-pedia.com/Phalen%E2%80%99s_Test

(24:29) Scenario #3: Meningitis

Brudzinski’s sign of meningitis: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/imagepages/19069.htm

Kernig’s sign of meningitis: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/imagepages/19077.htm

(32:41) Scenario #4: Abdominal aortic aneurysm

(38:13) Scenario #5: Pneumonia

Whispered pectoriloquy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whispered_pectoriloquy

(45:45) Scenario #6: Appendicitis

McBurney’s point: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McBurney%27s_point

Rovsing’s sign: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rovsing%27s_sign

Psoas sign: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psoas_sign

Obturator’s sign: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obturator_sign

* Theme music: “Fall of the Ocean Queen“ by Joseph Hackl.

* Assistant researcher: Nicholas Koziris

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