This seemingly straightforward clinical task given to MRCP candidates in the PACES section of the examination is often carried out unsatisfactorily. The chief problem with many candidates is that they only examine the thyroid gland instead of assessing status.
In this tutorial, an experienced thyroidologist and MRCP teacher, examines thyroid status in a patient with hyperthyroidism and in another patient with hypothyroidism.
The examination steps, the usual pitfalls and mistakes, and a demonstration of the key steps are presented. The reviewers' comments are presented at the end as an addendum.
Dr M Afzal Mir, Senior Lecturer and Consultant Physician, UHW, Cardiff.