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Article on physical exam recalls Klatskin's skill

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2009 - Spring


I just received the Winter 2009 edition of Yale Medicine and enjoyed a number of articles, including the roast of Yale’s “pathological triple threat.” Both I and my father, Wilbur G. Downs, M.D., M.P.H., much enjoyed our acquaintance with Michael Kashgarian, M.D. ’59, HS ’63.

There was considerable mention of the Wilbur Downs International Health Travel Fellowship Program, as well as a nice piece about Curtis Patton, Ph.D., professor emeritus of epidemiology.

I myself am a fan of the Oxford English Dictionary and I’ve read The Professor and the Madman. … and so I enjoyed the article on William Minor.

Additionally, as a practitioner of ER medicine, I am acutely aware of how technology has served to erode our physical exam skills. The article by Jill Max was very apropos and I admit I had forgotten about the Adson maneuver. One of the professors of my era, Gerald Klatskin, M.D., could percuss out a liver edge or a heart border such that a student across the room could hear it.

Monty Downs, M.D. ’70
Kapaa, Hawaii

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