From medical student to junior doctor: the scripted guide to patient clerking
In the second article of our series to help medical students make the leap to budding doctors, Richard Beasleyand coauthors explain how you can improve your patient clerking skills and impress your consultant
Undergraduate teaching of patient clerking is based primarily on the systematic and detailed elucidation of the history and clinical examination, from which a summary of the key findings is made and a differential diagnosis is developed.1–3 While this approach represents good training and a basic introduction for medical students learning the art of clinical medicine, it is insufficient for the demands of the junior doctor in hospital based clinical practice. A more practical and problem oriented method is required, which is based on the systematic analysis and synthesis of the case (box 1).
A practical way in which this can be achieved is to undertake an initial history and examination and then revisit key features in a more focused manner as one works through the analysis and synthesis of the case. For junior doctors, this provides a practical solution to the problems of forgetting or missing out key features of