Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Thesis defense Rui Araújo (Donders series 543)

7 March 2022

Promotor: Prof. Bas Bloem

The art of clinical neurology

Neurology, when compared to other medical specialties, remains particularly dependent on a detailed history taking, meticulous observation and careful interpretation of symptoms and signs. Many neurological conditions are diagnosed based on clinical grounds alone.

Much like a work of art, the practice of neurology requires attentive ears, piercing eyes, disciplined hands and an inquisitive, empathetic mind. Learning how to see and how to listen are essential qualities for clinical neurologists.

This thesis demonstrates that through a method akin to creating art, the neurological process may be expanded by means of the senses, particularly careful observation, clinically focused touch and purposeful listening. It provides examples drawn from the observation, touching and listening of clinical signs. Additionally, it discusses the uniqueness of each person with a neurological condition, and establishes how ‘the art of clinical neurology’ is at the core of person-centred care