Abraham Verghese Asks: “Why Are We Doing This Teaching?”

Abraham Verghese Asks: “Why Are We Doing This Teaching?”

Errol Ozdalga, MD; @eozdalga
Clinical Assistant Professor, Stanford School of Medicine

We teach bedside medicine. We emphasize the importance of the physical exam and how it can help care for your patient and also create an environment where the person you are caring for develops trust. We have taught this now for over 6 years (when the Stanford Medicine 25 was first created). But sometimes it’s important to ask why. In a recent blog post, “Will the Healing Touch Go Out the Door With the Stethoscope?”, we look at the how some think that ultrasound is replacing any need for a stethoscope. One might argue that the stethoscope is a symbol for all of the physical exam. As ultrasound replaces stethoscope, so do MRI’s, CT’s and other technological advances replace the examination of the liver or the visualization of the retina. Combined with today’s physicians who are constantly being asked to stand in front of an electronic health record for more of their time, it’s easy to understand why our physical exam skills have diminished.

In this article, we are releasing the full collection of videos we recorded at our first annual Stanford 25 Skills Symposium hosted in September of 2015 at Stanford School of Medicine where we had clinical educators joins us from 13 countries and from all over the United States to share our methods of teaching the bedside exam.

Here, Dr. Abraham Verghese ask’s the question, “Why are we doing this teaching?” In it he shows a case of a patient with an abnormal jugular venous pulse. The diagnosis is apparent from observation of a trained eye. The counterargument might include the fact that this diagnosis would have been made on a bedside echo. We have a saying at Stanford: Tests aren’t ordered to make a diagnosis, they’re ordered to confirm your suspicion of one. Any clinician will tell you how no test is perfect. Much of medicine is game of probability. If a test is positive, it’s not always 100% positive, it’s for example, 92% positive (and that’s if you’re lucky). The goal of a good clinician is to obtain as much information as possible to tip the odds in your favor.

This is one of many reasons why we do this teaching. This is why the exam must not be forgotten.

 

 

FULL COLLECTION OF OUR 2015 SYMPOSIUM VIDEOS RELEASED

Below, you will find the playlist for all 16 videos from our Stanford 25 Skills Symposium.

 

The Program for Bedside Medicine at Stanford is proud to announce registration is open for the Stanford 25 Skills Symposium 2016!

Date: August 27th and 28th 2016 (Saturday & Sunday)

Location: Stanford University School of Medicine

Visit this link for registration.

You can also learn more about last year’s symposium and our upcoming event here.

The Symposium is designed for early and mid-career physicians who teach clinical skills. Our interactive curriculum aims to make you a more effective educator and to provide a community of like-minded practitioners with whom to share your passion and skills.

The heart of what it means to care for another person lives at the bedside with your patient. Come learn and join of community of clinicians who share a like-minded belief.

In September of 2015, we hosted our inaugural Stanford 25 Skills Symposium. Today, we are launching the documentary: