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JAMA 100 Years Ago
February 7, 2007

THE LABORATORY IN DIAGNOSIS.

Author Affiliations
 

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2007;297(5):538. doi:10.1001/jama.297.5.538

The use of laboratory methods in diagnosis is, for the most part, a growth of recent years. While it is true that the laboratory examination of the urine is a procedure which has been practiced by several generations of physicians, the more complicated hematologic, bacteriologic and serologic examinations have come into general use only recently. It is probably no exaggeration to state that fifteen years ago there were not half a dozen medical schools in the United States in which a laboratory course in clinical diagnosis was given. Even ten years ago such courses were rare, and at the present time there are many schools in which they either are entirely inadequate or do not exist. The reason for this lies in the fact that such courses require expensive apparatus, are time consuming, and need men with special training as instructors. In the average medical school instruction in clinical microscopy is seldom given in a hospital, and the subject is often taught by the professor of pathology, who, most likely, has excellent laboratory training, but little clinical experience. In comparatively few schools has the student the opportunity of applying the laboratory methods at the bedside, for in the majority of American schools bedside instruction worthy of the name does not exist.

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