Yogi Berra once famously remarked, “You can observe a lot by watching”. What is true about opposing pitchers and Hollywood starlets is also true about patients and families.
Medical observing can be divided into a variety of important categories all the way from assessing family dynamics at a home visit, to looking at a rash (called inspection) to examining a tiny skin lesion under magnification. The key is always the same –PAY CLOSE ATTENTION.
Let me give you a few examples:
On a house call once I noticed that the gas on the stove had been left on and realized my older patient’s memory loss was much worse than I thought. The body language between a teenager and her mother can give me important clues to how well they are communicating.
Once by playing close attention I was able to make an important diagnosis and impress a resident all at…
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