Bemoaning the lost art of the physical exam is an ancient practice, dating back hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Since the introduction of the stethoscope in the early 19th century, the clinical skills of physicians have waned as their dependence on technology has grown. This "lost skills literature" reflects the ambivalent relationship the medical profession has had with its technology, a relationship also dating back centuries. Despite the dominant role played by technology in the life of the 21st-century physician, medical students and trainees do not receive sufficient formal training in its use and assessment. This lacuna in training likely contributes to the well-documented inappropriate use of health care technology that threatens any attempt at improved patient care and reform of the health care system. The author recommends the introduction of a formal curriculum in the use and assessment of health care technology in medical education and training.
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