News » GW’s Dr. Katherine Chretien on the “Ah(a) Moment”

GW’s Dr. Katherine Chretien on the “Ah(a) Moment”

Katherine Chretien, M.D., associate professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, was recently published in the journal Academic Medicine for an essay on teaching physical diagnosis to medical students.

The article, titled “The Ah(a) Moment,” recounts an experience Chretien had teaching medical students about bedside physical diagnosis. Taking them on rounds, she showed them how to diagnose patients using their powers of observation — particularly their eyes, ears, and nose.

She invited the students into the patient’s room, asking them to take in everything about the room and the appearance of the patient to give them clues about the possible diagnosis. In the end, Chretien and her students share an unforgettable “Aha” moment.

To listen to Dr. Chretien read her Teaching and Learning Moments essay, visit

For the full article on the art of the “Aha” moment, visit