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The physical exam as refuge

The New York Times, July 11, 2014

There are few situations where we expect to disrobe and have our bodies touched by relative strangers. The physical exam is one of the unique characteristics of the doctor-patient encounter; a visit to a doctor doesn't seem the same without one. Yet, increasingly, there's less and less of it. Visits are shorter and doctors have to spend most of their time at the computer filling out the endless electronic medical records that have come to define the modern medical transaction. Often, it boils down to a half-hearted plop of the stethoscope on the fully clothed patient.