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Jul 10, 2022

The laying on of hands. The stethoscope. The “does it hurt when I press here.” We are all familiar with the physical exam a doctor does when investigating our symptoms. But in the 21st century, with access to ultrasound and MRI, are these old-fashioned techniques still relevant or just cool parlour tricks? Returning guest Niko joins Chris to discuss the evidence behind hands-on maneuvers taught to medical students to help diagnose a variety of conditions. Warning: you may be shocked.


JAMA’s series on the Rational Clinical Examination:


(4:44) Scenario #1: A torn meniscus or ligament in the knee


Lachman test:

McMurray test:


(17:20) Scenario #2: Carpal tunnel syndrome


Tinel’s test:

Phalen’s test:


(24:29) Scenario #3: Meningitis


Brudzinski’s sign of meningitis:

Kernig’s sign of meningitis:


(32:41) Scenario #4: Abdominal aortic aneurysm


(38:13) Scenario #5: Pneumonia


Whispered pectoriloquy:


(45:45) Scenario #6: Appendicitis


McBurney’s point:

Rovsing’s sign:

Psoas sign:

Obturator’s sign:




* Theme music: “Fall of the Ocean Queen“ by Joseph Hackl.

* Assistant researcher: Nicholas Koziris


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