The physical exam has changed, let’s admit it.  In what ways?  Let’s compare the old school and new school physical exams and see how things have changed in just a matter of a few generations.

Old school: the general exam
New school: whole-body CET

Old school: heart exam including assessment of JVD and peripheral edema
New school: TTE, stress test, and bilateral lower extremity US

Old school: lung auscultation
New school: CXR followed by CT chest

Old school: inspection, palpation, and auscultation of the abdomen
New school: CT abdomen & pelvis, right upper quadrant US, and GI consult

Old school: rectal exam
New school: colonoscopy

Old school: skin exam
New school: Dermatology consult

Old school: thyroid exam
New school: thyroid US

Old school: the eye exam with ophthalmoscope
New school: Ophthalmology consult

Old school: rapid alternating movements, two-point discrimination
New school: MRI brain

Dr. 99
First there was Dr. 01, the first robot physician, created to withstand toxic levels of burnout in an increasingly mechanistic and impossibly demanding healthcare field. Dr. 99 builds upon the advances of its ninety-eight predecessors by phasing out all human emotion, innovation, and creativity completely, and focusing solely on pre-programmed protocols and volume-based productivity. In its spare time, Dr. 99 enjoys writing for Gomerblog and listening to Taylor Swift.