Physical Examination Skills

The Physical Examination Skills Course is comprehensive training program designed to equip healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills to conduct thorough and systematic physical examinations. The course covers essential areas of physical examination, from general assessment and vital signs to specialised examinations such as HEENT, cardiovascular, respiratory, abdominal, musculoskeletal, neurological, and special populations.

Through a combination of lectures, hands-on workshops, practical simulations, and assessments, participants will gain the proficiency to carry out physical examinations with confidence, accuracy, and adherence to ethical considerations and professional guidelines.

This course can be accessed in the following format:

  1. 3 Day comprehensive course
  2. One day Update course
  3. 3 Day Plab – 2 examination preparation to be confirmed


  • Skill Development: To enable healthcare professionals to master the techniques of physical examination, including inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation.
  • Patient-Centered Approach: To foster compassionate and effective communication with patients during examinations, ensuring comfort and cooperation.
  • Critical Thinking: To teach participants how to interpret findings, recognise normal versus abnormal conditions, and relate physical examination findings to potential underlying medical issues.
  • Ethical Practice: To instill an understanding of ethical considerations, consent, and professional collaboration in conducting physical examinations.
  • Real-World Application: To provide hands-on experience with simulation models, standardised patients, or volunteer patients, allowing for practical application and refinement of skills.


By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Conduct comprehensive and systematic physical examinations in various clinical settings.
  • Utilise appropriate tools and techniques for each type of examination.
  • Interpret findings and identify potential underlying health conditions.
  • Communicate effectively with patients, obtaining consent and explaining procedures.
  • Document examination findings accurately and in accordance with professional standards.
  • Collaborate with other healthcare professionals, recognising interdisciplinary nature of healthcare.

Who Should Attend:

  • Medical Students: To build foundational skills in physical examination as part of their medical education. ┬áThe 3 day course is a sseful introductory course for overseas doctors and doctors preparing for the PLAB-2 exam
  • Nurses: To enhance their assessment skills, particularly in primary care or specialized settings.
  • Primary Care Physicians: To refresh or improve their examination techniques for comprehensive patient care.
  • Specialist Physicians: Those looking to improve their examination skills within their specialty, such as cardiologists, pulmonologists, etc.
  • Allied Health Professionals: Such as physiotherapists or occupational therapists who may benefit from advanced examination techniques related to their field.

These courses are suitable for healthcare professionals at various stages of their careers, from those beginning their medical education to seasoned professionals looking to refresh or enhance their skills. It is designed to meet the diverse needs of the healthcare community, emphasizing both the science and art of physical examination.

Content for 3 Day Course

Introduction to Physical Examination

  • Importance and objectives of physical examination
  • Medical history taking
  • Communication skills and patient consent
  • Inspection, palpation, percussion, auscultation (IPPA) techniques

General Examination and Vital Signs

  • Assessing general appearance, nutrition, and behaviour
  • Measuring vital signs: temperature, pulse, respiration, blood pressure
  • Urine Dipstick

Head, Eyes, Ears, Nose, and Throat (HEENT) Examination

  • Techniques and tools for examining HEENT
  • Common abnormalities and red flags
  • Examination of the Thyroid
  • Ear, Nose and Throat Examination

Cardiovascular and Respiratory Examination

  • Heart and lung auscultation techniques
  • Recognizing normal and abnormal sounds
  • Examination of peripheral vascular system

Abdominal and Gastrointestinal Examination

  • Techniques for examining the abdomen
  • Identifying organomegaly and masses
  • Special tests for GI system assessment

Musculoskeletal and Neurological Examination

  • Examination of joints, muscles, and mobility
  • Neurological examination techniques
  • Reflexes, strength, sensation, coordination assessmen
  • How to do Cerebellar examination
  • How to examine the Hands
  • How to Examine the Gait
  • How to do the examination of the Cranial Nerves
  • How to do the Neurological Examination of the Lower Limb
  • How to do the Neurological Examination of the Upper Limb

Examination of Special Populations – Optional extra Day

  • Paediatric examination
  • Geriatric examination
  • Obstetric and gynaecological examination

Documentation and Professional Considerations

  • Proper documentation of physical examination findings
  • Ethical considerations
  • Interprofessional collaboration

Assessment and Certification: Optional Extra Day

  • Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE) at the end of the 3 day course
  • Certification upon successful completion

Additional Features:

  • Small group sessions for personalized learning
  • Access to video demonstrations and online resources
  • Compliance with relevant healthcare standards and guidelines

The design of this course emphasises both the theoretical understanding and practical application of physical examination skills. By using a combination of lectures, workshops, real-world scenarios, and assessments, participants can develop a deep understanding of physical examination techniques and the critical thinking skills needed to apply them in clinical practice. Collaboration with accredited medical institutions and experienced clinicians would be essential for the success of this course.


The prerequisites for the Physical Examination Skills Course are essential to ensure that participants have the foundational knowledge and experience necessary to fully engage with the course material. Here’s an overview of the typical prerequisites:

  1. Educational Background: Participants should have completed or be currently enrolled in a healthcare-related degree program, such as medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, or a related field.
  2. Basic Medical Knowledge: An understanding of human anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, and general healthcare practices is required to grasp the concepts taught in this course.
  3. Clinical Experience: Some hands-on experience in a clinical setting is preferred, as it provides context and aids in the practical application of physical examination techniques.
  4. Communication Skills: Since patient interaction is a key part of the physical examination, participants should have good verbal communication skills.
  5. Professional Licensure: Depending on the jurisdiction and the depth of the training, licensed healthcare professionals may be the primary target audience, especially if the course includes real patient interactions.
  6. Infection Control Training: If the course includes hands-on practice with patients or simulation models, participants may be required to have basic infection control training or adhere to specific hygiene protocols.
  7. Ethical Considerations: An understanding of medical ethics, patient consent, and confidentiality may be required, as these are vital aspects of patient examination.
  8. Language Proficiency: Fluency in the language in which the course is conducted is essential for understanding the course material and effectively communicating with patients and instructors.
  9. Technology Skills (for hybrid or online portions): If the course includes online components, basic computer literacy and access to required technology (e.g., computer, internet) would be necessary.
  10. Physical Ability: Ability to perform tasks related to physical examination (e.g., palpation, auscultation) should be considered, as participants will need to conduct hands-on examinations.

These prerequisites are designed to ensure that participants have the foundational skills and knowledge required to succeed in the course. Course organizers should clearly communicate these requirements in course descriptions and promotional materials to help prospective participants determine their eligibility and prepare for the course.

Please click below for further details and dates

One Day Update

3 Day Course

5 Day Comprehensive Programme

Minor Illness and Physical Exam

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