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July 17, 1948


JAMA. 1948;137(12):1078. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890460074022

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To the Editor:—  Just a word of caution in regard to streamlining the health examination. It may be true that sixteen symptoms, twenty-three physical abnormalities and six laboratory observations will enable the physician to recognize the two hundred diseases which trouble 98 per cent of patients (THE JOURNAL, May 15, p. 244). However, this implies that if the streamlined technic is used, the remaining 2 of every 100 patients who consult a physician will receive mistaken diagnoses and consequently inadequate or even harmful advice.The chiropractor or faith healer with a magnetic personality prospers because nine times out of ten correct diagnosis and treatment are not a matter of life and death. It is the tenth fatality that makes him dangerous.If physicians are content with slick ten minute opinions, 2 or 3 million people may suffer because they have not been given the careful consideration which is their due.

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