Pulsus Philosophicus

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"Why were pulses put on my body... What can it mean?"

Different from a pulsus paradoxus, a pulsus philosophicus is any pulse that causes the examiner to question the nature of things.[1] Pulsus philosphicus is the one and only maneuver that can be considered as part of both the physical exam and the metaphysical exam.[2]

Example of a Pulsus Philosophicus

"Your pulse is really weak and thready... but what is real anyway? What is reality?"

"Your pulse begs the question: what is the meaning of life?"

Related Reading

- Cricoid Pressure

- Inferior Vena Cava

- Pedal Pulse

- Posterior Vena Cava

- Uncommon Hepatic Artery


  1. Intern Tries to Palpate Pedal Pulses, Can’t Locate Legs
  2. AMA Holds Funeral Service for Physical Exam

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