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March 18, 1961

Clinical Physiology

JAMA. 1961;175(11):1025. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040110089036

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This book, according to the preface, is written by practicing clinicians in an attempt to fill a gap in medical education left by a dearth of courses and textbooks on applied physiology and functional pathology. The 15 chapters touch on the customary subjects with some notable exceptions, namely, the sense organs, brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. Each chapter, as a rule, consists of 4 sections, dealing with normal functions, disordered functions, principles underlying functional tests, and practical methods of assessment. This last section generally includes a table of normal values, which winds up the chapter with a concreteness that is one of the best features of the book.

By contrast, the introductory sections are sometimes vague, superficial, and quite misleading. Some examples are the careless statements on page 1 that "the amount of water in an individual is more closely related to height than to weight, because weight depends

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