Step-by-Step Training Video and Manual for the Physical Examination

Format Publication ID Version Published
Video, Reference 9046 1 December 6, 2011


Hospitalized patients appropriate for teaching physical examination to medical students have been increasingly difficult to secure - sicker patients and shorter hospital stays. Physicians are also under pressure to generate revenue, leaving less time for non-revenue generating activities such as supervising medical students. To proactively address the above concerns, the course faculty at Wayne State University School of Medicine decided to implement a program of using standardized patients to supplement the teaching of physical diagnosis. 

This program lets students learn and practice their physical examination skills in a less stressful, more predictable, standardized environment and provides them with individualized instruction. It allows the students the ability to practice repeatedly and to obtain feedback from the SPTA about their technique.

This resource includes a comprehensive Step by Step guide (video and SPTA teaching materials) for teaching the basic physical exam.

Note: This resource consists of separate pieces of content. You may need to access via website, download resource files and/or request additional information from MedEdPORTAL staff to access the full publication.


Afonso N, Schwartz L, Brennan S. Step-by-Step Training Video and Manual for the Physical Examination. MedEdPORTAL; 2011. Available from:

Educational Objectives

  1. To be familiar with the pertinent anatomy and physiology as it applies to the physical exam.
  2. To be familiar with the techniques necessary to perform a physical examination.


  • Physical Examination (MeSH)

Competencies Addressed

  • Medical
    • Patient Care
    • Practice-based Learning & Improvement

Academic Focus

  • Clinical Sciences
    • Clinical Exam

Intended Audience

  • Professional School
    • Medical Student

Instructional Methods

  • Independent Study
  • Standardized Patient

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