Clinical Podcast: The Importance of the Subjective Exam | Dr. Chris Dickerson • Posts by EIM | Evidence In Motion Skip To Content

Clinical Podcast: The Importance of the Subjective Exam | Dr. Chris Dickerson

January 23, 2020 • Clinical Management • Mark Shepherd

How does the subjective examination set apart rehab professionals from other health care providers? Dr. Chris Dickerson, owner of Puget Sound Physical Therapy and instructor for Bellin College’s Orthopaedic and Manual Physical Therapy (OMPT) Fellowship, joins Mark on this week’s episode to discuss how the patient interview guides your clinical reasoning, the top questions you have to ask during every subjective examinations, how the subjective examination can affect your relationship with your patient, and much more.




Chris Dickerson


Mark Shepherd

Mark is a physical therapist with nine years of experience. He is dedicated to helping students become the best clinicians they can be and is a firm believer that residency and fellowship offer critical mentorship opportunities for young clinicians. Current Roles: Program Director, Fellowship in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy, Bellin College Program Coordinator, Evidence In...

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Mark Shepherd

Commented • February 3, 2020

Thanks for listening Leda and thanks for sharing those resources!

Leda McDaniel, PT, DPT

Commented • January 25, 2020

Hi Chris and Mark, I LOVED this podcast and diving into the importance of the subjective exam! I also have been inspired by the work of Atul Gawande's "Checklist Manifesto" and have applied that reasoning to creating PT evaluation "checklists" to facilitate some of the similar points that you mention: keeping a logical flow and structure for an exam, asking comprehensive red flag screening questions, guiding a systematic decision making process and allowing for "checking" and self-reflection after patient evaluations to assess whether my clinical thought process for diagnosis and treatment followed a rational progression (also as a teaching tool for students learning exam skills). Would love your feedback on how I apply this and if you find these checklists useful (Below are 2 links to blog posts that I wrote specifically about these ideas, and within are links to my checklists): Thanks very much for sharing your experience and expertise! Best, Leda

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