This article talks about trends in the use of the physical exams among doctors. The time crunch, number of issues to discuss even without an exam, the ability of technology to better detect some conditions (or protect physicians from lawsuits) all led to diminishing use of the physical exam. But, doctors are returning to the use of the physical exam now for a different reason--to connect with patients. The physical exam, touch, helps patients open up about issues they might not otherwise mention and build trust. This is an interesting reminder of how easy it is to overlook the value of certain practices or what they can do for quality of care if we measure the wrong things. The utility of physical exams rests not in what they directly reveal but in how they influence patient's psychologically.
Link leads to: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/07/10/the-physical-exam-as-refuge/?ref=health