Daily Archives: April 15, 2013

head to toe physical exam

We had our complete head-to-toe physical exam on Tuesday. It was by far the least stressful clinical skills practical I’ve had thus far, which is awesome, because this one was basically our final.

I guess it helped that I went over it with my friend the week before. We went through each page on each other and then did our mockticals with a second year. A couple days later, I met up with him again and we went through the entire thing and graded each other on it. The night before, we dragged one more mutual friend into the mix and went through it one more time. Then I went home and downstairs to Adam’s and we went through verbalizing everything (he “bribed” me with chicken injected with cajun butter, couscous and veggies + a box of Raisin Bran). I put it in quotations because he really didn’t have to bribe me, but it did sweeten the deal. Review plus amazing food? Hells yes!

He gave me the whole pot. :O

Food aside, I think the practical went swimmingly. My standardized patient was super nice, and I basically ended up taking more than 30-ish (the amount of time I’d been taking when going through it with my friend) minutes only because we kept talking. (I hope you can’t get marked down for that. :[ Having legit conversations is good, isn’t it?)

At the end of the physical exam, I wanted to make sure I’d gone through everything I was supposed to without sitting there in silence while my SP sat with me. I’d made a list of all the systems I had to cover and had also scrawled a couple reminders within some of the systems since I had a tendency to forget to do them (e.g. light reflexes for eyes, abduction/adduction of fingers in muscular strength testing).

It went something like this: “Alright, so I believe this concludes your head-to-toe physical exam. I’m just going to run through everything we did really quickly just to make sure I didn’t forget anything, okay?”
S: Okay.
F: Great! So we started by taking your vitals–I got your blood pressure, your heart rate and your respiration rate. Then we moved on to the head and I checked the bones and sinuses. Then on the neck…I did an external inspection and checked for your carotid pulse, for carotid bruits, and…I didn’t palpate for your thyroid gland, so we’re going to do that now!”


Then I finished my recap and ended with, “Do you have any questions for me?”
S: Nope, none at all.
F: Alright then! It was great to meet you! I’m going to step out to speak with my attending and we’ll be back to see you. Thank you!
S: Okay, thank you!
F: I hope you have a great rest of the day!

Apparently, my neighbor had the same SP I had, and right after me. During mine, he didn’t write a single thing down (he didn’t bring the sheet out even once :O ), but for him, he marked stuff down every 2-ish things my neighbor did. That made me kindasorta worry, and there was a delay in getting our grades out because they apparently had to rewatch the entire recording for several students (I have a feeling I might have been one of em’). But it all worked out!

I got 100% ;) ;) ;)

This is the first 100% I’ve ever gotten on a clinical skills practical! :D (It’s also the one that’s been worth the most thus far. :] happy times!)