Choice quotes from Talley and O'Connor's Clinical Examination, 8th edition.

Our book is not a traditional undergraduate textbook and we are proud of its distinctive features. Learning must be fun! Unlike most other similar textbooks, ours is deliberately laced with humour and historical anecdotes that generations of students have told us enhance the learning experience. (p. xix)

Since classical Greek times interrogation of the patient has been considered most important … (p. xxii)

[The stethoscope] revolutionised chest examination … because it made the chest accessible in patients too modest to allow a direct application of the examiner's ear to the chest wall (p. xxiii)

Many of the statements in [the Hippocratic Oath] remain relevant today, while others, such as euthanasia and abortion, remain controversial. The seduction of slaves, however, is less of a problem. (p. xxiv)

Chapter 1

Hospitals and clinics all have rules … for students … Make sure you are familiar with these rather than face ejection from the ward by a senior doctor or (more frightening) nurse. (p. 4)

Many hospitals have banned ties and long sleeves … Who knows where this trend for less and less clothing may end? (p. 4)

Asking the patient ‘What brought you here today?’ can be unwise, as it often promotes the reply ‘an ambulance’ or ‘a car’. This little joke wears thin after some years in clinical practice. (p. 6)

Patients' descriptions of their symptoms may vary as they are subjected to repeated questioning by increasingly senior medical staff. (p. 6)

asking patients who are in severe pain to provide a number out of 10 seems at best a distraction and at worst rather unkind. (p. 8)

If you ask a patient what size a tablet is (meaning how many milligrams) a common answer will be, ‘Oh it is quite small.’ (p. 12)

Chapter 2

Valuable gifts should not be accepted … The danger of medical students finding themselves in this position is small, however. (p. 29)

Chapter 3

By convention, patients are usually examined from the right side of the bed … When students learn this, they often feel safer huddling on the left side of the bed with their colleagues in tutorial groups, but many tutors are aware of this strategy, particularly when they notice all students standing as far away from the right side of the bed as possible. (p. 37)

The cheerful person sitting up in bed reading Proust (see Fig. 3.2) is unlikely to require urgent attention to save his life. (p. 39)

The pericardial rub may disappear before students can be found to come and listen to it. (p. 51)

The actor patients often come from local theatrical schools and there is a small risk they will be tempted to overact (e.g. bursting into tears when asked their age; see Fig. 3.20). (p. 55)

Chapter 4

Rather to the satisfaction of cardiologists, the mention of chest pain by a patient … tends to provoke more urgent attention than other symptoms. The surprised patient may find him- or herself whisked into an emergency ward with the rapid appearance of worried-looking doctors. (p. 59)

Testicular traction is a potent vagal manoeuvre but not in common use. (p. 65)

If the patient's cholesterol is known to be high, it is worth obtaining a dietary history. This can be very trying. (p. 68–9)

Chapter 5

Patients hardly ever notice that they have clubbing, even when it is severe. They often express surprise at their doctor’s interest in such an unlikely part of their anatomy. (p. 80)

Patients expect to have their pulse taken as part of a proper medical examination. … When this traditional part of the examination is performed with some ceremony, it may help to establish rapport between patient and doctor. (p. 81–2)

[Blood pressure] should not be taken from an arm that has had an arteriovenous fistula inserted for renal dialysis for fear of damaging the fistula and enraging the patient’s renal physician and vascular surgeon. (p. 86)

Never palpate both carotid arteries simultaneously as they provide much of the blood supply to the brain (a vital organ). (p. 89)

In the viva voce and OSCE examination, the examiners will occasionally amuse themselves by stopping a candidate before auscultation and ask for an opinion. (p. 95)

The … study showed that if a cardiologist thought a murmur was significant the LR+ was 38, but if an emergency doctor thought so it was only 14—very cheering. (p. 100)

The older term incompetence is synonymous with regurgitation, but the latter better describes the pathophysiology and changes to terminology of this sort keep non-cardiologists on the back foot. (p. 100)

Grade 1/6 Very soft and not heard at first (often audible only to consultants and to those students who have been told the murmur is present) (p. 103)

Friedrich Weber rediscovered the [Valsalva] manoeuvre in 1859 and demonstrated that he could slow his pulse at will. He stopped demonstrating this after he caused himself to faint and have convulsions. (p. 105)

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