The other day this article was making its way around Twitter. It discusses the importance (or lack thereof) of performing a history and full physical exam on a patient.

While this article is not about PT specifically, it got me thinking. I am spending a great deal of time learning how to perform a PT exam- I even have a class this semester titled “Physical Therapy Examination”. Yet, I know that some PTs do not perform a comprehensive exam and even fewer take vital signs during a visit. There is a ton of valuable information that can be learned through vital signs and a full evaluation. What do you think about this? How do we balance efficiency while still being thorough and treating the whole person? Is a full evaluation necessary or a waste of precious time?

Let’s talk about it!

Current PTs are welcomed and encouraged to join in on this chat! All of us students would love your input!

 Chat Summary

Click here for this chat’s analytics and transcript.

This chat also included a great list of recommended readings.

Maitland’s Vertebral Manipulation, 7th ed:

  • Eric Robertson (@EricRobertson): “Also the Maitland texts have an excellent chapter on communication.”
  • Jerry Durham (@Jerry_DurhamPT): “Directed towards Maitland book which was very helpful”
  • Kyle Ridgeway (@Dr_Ridge_DPT)- “Read the Maitland Subjective Exam Chap about 1x every 4 months w/ experience it will make more sense”


Checklist Manifesto by @Atul_Gawande

  • Kyle Ridgeway (@Dr_Ridge_DPT) – “all #DPTStudent should read Checklist Manifesto by @Atul_Gawande #PTScience”


Reading list by @mikereinoldblog

  • Mark Kev SPT(@markymarkkev) – “@mikereinoldblog has a good reading list”


Illness Narratives by Arthur Kleinman

  • Kyle Ridgeway (@Dr_Ridge_DPT)– “All PTs should read the book Illness Narratives by Arthur Kleinman For us the subjective is VITAL”