A Practical Guide to Clinical Medicine is a comprehensive but concise physical examination and clinical education site for medical students and other health care students and professionals. The twenty topics/lessons plus reference topics include patient histories; vital signs; eye, lung, heart, extremities, neurological, and other body systems; write-ups and presentations; and clinical decision making. The focus is on clinical relevance of information, why it's important, and how it applies to the actual patient. Each of the topics answers the question, "What do I really need to know about this area of medical care?" Lessons include step-by-step detail of examination techniques, frequently used special maneuvers, rationale for each aspect of the examination and, where appropriate, a discussion of relevant pathophysiology. Visuals identifying appropriate techniques and examples of common pathologic findings accompany each section. The sites home page provides Dr. Goldbergs introduction to the material.
(1) assist the learner in identifying what information from a physical examination is truly relevant, why it's important and how it applies to the actual patient (2) draw attention to core behaviors that define clinical excellence (3) reinforce basic principles of the physical examination
Target Student Population:
Medical students, advanced nursing students, and students in other areas of health care.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
A sound foundation of advanced human anatomy and physiology is prerequisite to gaining full benefit from this site.
Type of Material:
Reference material in a web-based format that includes text, images, sound, and video clips.
Although each lesson/topic stands alone and can be assigned independently,
the material should be used for supplemental learning and/or review.
High-speed Internet connection, speakers, and media player are required.
Evaluation and Observation
The integration of visuals with the information in each topic is outstanding. The practicality of the lessons cannot be overemphasized. Users of these learning objects are drawn into the lesson much as if they were present during the examinations.The site is concise, clear,very easy to navigate and provides good explanations.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The writing is clear and to the point. Navigation is easy and topics can be used independently of each other. Pictures clearly identifying appropriate techniques accompany each lesson section, as are examples of common pathologic findings. Several topics include images of gross anatomic correlates and video clips of selected examination maneuvers and findings. Links to other useful websites and an extensive reference list are included.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The narrative is down-to-earth in a conversational tone and navigation is easy. Software requirements are either standard on most computers these days; software needed can be downloaded free (browser, media player).
The video clips are slow to load without a high speed Internet connection, however, the lessons are complete even without the video clips.