Principles of Clinical Diagnosis Course

Principles of Clinical Diagnosis Course

The second course in this instructional program gets into the nitty-gritty of diagnostic methodology within the clinic on the real patients we see every day. The focus here is on clinical diagnosis. That is, the diagnosis one can achieve in the clinic using the history and physical examination, and highly selective use of technology.

*Prerequisite - First Activities and Introduction



There are three formal lessons to complete. The lessons are:

  • Sources and causes of Low Back and Referred Lower Limb pain. This is a basic overview of known painful patho-anatomical categories of conditions. Basic knowledge is assumed of course but the idea is to provide a summary of basic categories for context and content needed for the next two lessons
  • The second lesson is Part 1 of the lesson on Diagnosis by Subtraction. Diagnosis by subtraction draws on the concepts of specificity & sensitivity to rule in and rule out different diagnostic categories.
  • The third lesson is Part 2 of the lesson on Diagnosis by subtraction. In this lesson you will see how expert clinicians reduce the pool of possible diagnostic conclusions to one, or a small number of diagnostic possibilities, so that treatment can be initiated or further diagnostic investigation planned.

There is one case study video to watch. This shows the centralization of pain graphically which is important, since centralisers are the largest subgroup within the back pain population.

You will also download the case notes of the patient seen in the introductory course and be encouraged to self test your own clinical reasoning skills using the details of this case and the learning from the three lectures on the principles of clinical diagnosis.

There is only one paper to download and read, and that is the 2017 paper of Petersen, Laslett & Juhl on the systematic reviews we carried out on the latest evidence on diagnosis and classification. You will need to read this thoroughly, because the course quiz will focus on that strongly.

At the end there is a quiz to test your understanding of the material.

Also you will be able to download the PDF forms I have used for clinical records. This documentation may be of use, or may not, but does give you a good idea of the sort of questionnaires I have patients complete, and notes I keep for all cases presenting in the clinic.

*Prerequisite - First Activities and Introduction

Study time: 4 hrs (approx.)

Duration: 30 days
Price: NZ$115.00