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June 8, 1946


Author Affiliations

Editor, American Review of Tuberculosis, 463 Vermont Avenue, Berkeley 7, Calif.

JAMA. 1946;131(6):551. doi:10.1001/jama.1946.02870230057020

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To the Editor:—  II intend to publish in book form a collection of subjective case histories written by physicians, if a sufficient number of suitable contributions can be obtained.The response of patients to disease is essentially second hand knowledge, since it is by necessity based on information provided by patients. Since the development of ever wider and more refined methods for the objective evaluation of morbid conditions, the information that only the patient can give has more and more been relegated to the background. This tendency is enhanced by the much greater variety of individual symptoms than that of objective signs. Apparently uncontrolled variables (namely, the patients' response) are obviously less valuable in diagnosis and prognosis than are objective, recordable and preferably measurable signs and laboratory findings. Within limitations this tendency is scientifically sound and fertile. However, it needs to be complemented by a fuller knowledge of patients' subjective

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