October 31, 2017 – Skill Plus Technology


Anchor lead: Emerging technologies can’t replace physical exam skills in medicine, Elizabeth Tracey reports

New technologies to assess your heart, blood pressure and all kinds of indicators of health are constantly emerging, leading some to predict the demise of basic tools like stethoscopes and even the need for a doctor to physically examine a person. Not so fast, says Brian Garibaldi, co-president of the Society for Bedside Medicine and a physician at Johns Hopkins. Studies do show the benefits of the physical exam for both patient and physician.

Garibaldi: Technology is transformative. The things that we’re able to do with technology are incredible in terms of diagnosis. But it’s also important to remember that there are some physical exam maneuvers, many in fact, that are just as reliable as technological testing. I think that there’s this misconception that technology is inherently more reliable or reproducible than the physical exam and I don’t think that’s true. The other thing that I think is really important to recognize is that there are many diagnoses that are still made predominantly by the clinician at the bedside.  :27

Garibaldi says improving physician skills also reduces burnout on the part of clinicians. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.