October 30, 2017 – SBM


Anchor lead: Can a medical society help revive bedside skills of physicians? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Can the practice of medicine be improved by helping physicians hone their skills at the patient’s bedside? That’s the mission of the Society of Bedside Medicine, which seeks to reinvigorate bedside examination and diagnosis. Brian Garibaldi, the Society’s co-president and a physician at Johns Hopkins, says early results indicate that doctors also feel happier and more satisfied with their practice when these skills are improved.

Garibaldi: Physicians, particularly trainees, spend as little as 10% of their time in direct contact with patients. As we spend less time at the bedside our physical exam skills have started to erode. Exam skills of people today are not as good as they were several years ago. That’s a problem that’s going to lead to diagnostic error, a potential erosion in trust between doctors and patients. It also contributes to the sense of burnout that a lot of physician feel, because we’re spending most of our time engaged in practices that are not what we trained for. We didn’t train to be sitting in an office working on a computer. We trained to be at the bedside helping our patients deal with their illnesses.  :33

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.