I was recently reflecting on the intersection between technology and the ART of medicine. It may seem that a diagnosis is made with an imaging technique like x-rays, MRI’s, or maybe PET scans, but over 80% of the time and accurate diagnosis can be made by simply taking a HISTORY.
This is simply LISTENING to a person explain to me what happened and how they feel, and not least what the patient thinks may be wrong.
A wiser man than me said that simply LISTENING is worth more than all of the tests that can be run combined.
Next in importance comes the PHYSICAL EXAMINATION. An understanding of the anatomy as well as of the signs and symptoms of particular diseases frequently renders tests redundant.
HOWEVER, utilizing tests as CORROBORATIVE EVIDENCE for the one or two most likely diagnoses can give a degree of confidence particularly when the treatment may be surgical.
Among recent additions to my practice, the use of IN-OFFICE ULTRASOUND can provide images of things like rotator cuff tears in a much more timely and cost-effective manner than, for example, an MRI.