April 17, 1972

The Diagnosis Game

Author Affiliations

Westfield, NJ

JAMA. 1972;220(3):417-418. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200030075028

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To the Editor.—  I was appalled by the article by Drs. Schneiderman and Muller entitled "The Diagnosis Game" (219:333, 1972). We have become excessively gadget-oriented in recent years; one of the greatest criticisms of our profession is our apparent loss of human contact with our patients. This little game with the computer, although of considerable value I am sure, can have only one major effect upon developing medical students: a dehumanizing of clinical medicine. In strict terms of medical education, a student who places laboratory tests above a careful history and physical examination (which adds much subtle emotional and observational information not easily programmed into a computer!) is not my idea of a doctor.