Thursday, April 09, 2009

SOCRATES versus ACES mnemonic

I was teaching a medical student this afternoon.
I discussed history taking with him. I asked him how he would analyse a patient’s symptoms and discussed analysis of pain.
He said he used the acronym SOCRATES and he proceeded to tell me the features he would ask for. The acronym was quite reasonable and he was able to name most features he would ask for in the analysis of symptoms.
I then discussed the mnemonic from ACES for PACES –Please Carefully Question This Method For Reliability and Resilience”- ACES for PACES page 22-24
He pondered this and said he would think about the two carefully as the ACES mnemonic seemed to be more comprehensive than the acronym he was using.
I then showed him how he could use the ACES mnemonic to analyse the pulse, murmurs, respiration and other functions of the body analysed on physical examination. ACES for PACES page 30-31
It is important to think about clinical skills and realise that a simple, common sense approach is all that is needed