After New Orleans, a doctor ponders about the importance of the physical exam

“Most of us know, when we train as doctors in this country, that along with our phenomenal professional arsenals – our diagnostic tests, our imaging machines, our life-support systems, our wonder drugs and even our not-quite-wonder drugs – comes a certain dependence on the complex web of technical support.

Even in the kind of relatively low-tech, relatively old-fashioned medicine I practice – primary care pediatrics – there’s an inexorable tendency to move away from relying on your own medical skills and get the extra test.”

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