In a widespread survey of medical students, researchers were surprised to find medical students are still unsure of what causes clubbing. The responses ranged from “ummm” to “not really sure” to “what system is this part of?”
When our team talked to a few third year medical students they answered, “Look, no-one really knows but it sounds pretty slick when we say ‘Schamroth’s window is present’.”
One sixth year said they get their patients to make hearts with their fingers when testing for clubbing. “Makes it a little bit snazzy, little bit different. Really helps build patient rapport as well because it’s symbolic of how much I care for them. All about that patient-doctor relationship you know.”
Upon questioning OSCE examiners The Jugular was only able to get a nod from them. When asked to provide more detailed feedback, they mysteriously disappeared.
Consultants in the hospital suggested, “They spend so much time looking for clubbing, they don’t have time to listen to the heart.”