When his medical students queried the importance of physical examination in caring for patients already admitted to hospital, an experienced physician-educator in the USA sought directly relevant evidence-based data. Finding none, he has filled the gap admirably with, literally, his own hands. Dr Brendan Reilly conducted a daily bedside assessment of 100 consecutive patients admitted by a general medical service team at a public teaching hospital. An independent panel confirmed that, in one out of four cases, his findings led to a revised diagnosis and a major change in clinical management. Bedside is bedrock! Or, as Dr Reilly put it, "the practice of evidence-based medicine is the practice of medicine, not the practice of evidence".
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