Teaching the Neurological Examination in a Rapidly Evolving Clinical Climate

James M. Hillis, MBBS, DPhil; Tracey A. Milligan, MD, MS, FAAN


Semin Neurol. 2018;38(4):428-440. 

In This Article


The neurological examination remains the essence of neurology, and the ability to perform it directly influences patient care. It is, however, more challenging to teach in a rapidly evolving, faster-paced clinical climate. Both a structured and hypothesis-driven examination should be part of a longitudinal curriculum in medical education. This teaching is best done by emphasizing an evidence-based approach, explaining why the examination is performed and what the findings mean, and observing then providing feedback to the learner. When done successfully, it will allow doctors of the future to continue to diagnose patients and follow their symptoms at the bedside.