Mechanics and physicians are both healers. After collecting diagnostic data, both work to fix underlying problems that cause undesirable symptoms. Mechanics have the luxury and disadvantage that their cars can’t talk. They’re forced to rely on objective readings from tools. On the other hand, cars are 100% compliant with their course of treatment. We trust physicians to use both objective data and their judgement to interpret potential causes based on a patient’s descriptions.
As healthcare becomes increasing systematized, it’s tempting to push the role of physicians closer to that of a mechanic. So, while certain aspects of a physical exam may no longer be necessary for collecting objective information like blood pressure and heart rate, it is important for building trust between a physician and patient, which is critical for a physician to effectively ask questions to collect subjective information.