July 14, 2016 – Physical Exam


Anchor lead:  Should the traditional physical examination by your doctor be changed? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Standard issue physical examination, where your doctor listens to your heart and lungs, takes your blood pressure and looks into your eyes and ears, should be modified, according to William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins and one author of a recent paper on the subject.

Nelson: Do we need to craft the physical examination to be more quantitative, provide more information, and provide it at a time before there are symptoms, major organ dysfunction, is that a modern era of medicine, to be more proactive, preventative, predictive, and should we think about the examination a little bit differently? Using modern technologies and new strategies to make sure that everything we do is of value and of help to keeping people healthy? :28

Nelson and his coauthors opine that new tools, most of them electronic and even some smart phone apps, provide more reliable data than those used during a traditional exam, and people can use them at home, then transmit the information remotely. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.