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July 4, 1990

The Right Test: A Physician's Guide to Laboratory Medicine

Author Affiliations

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Lubbock

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Lubbock

JAMA. 1990;264(1):95. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450010103042

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This small text fits neatly into the pocket of a lab coat or suit coat and seems to be designed for everyday use rather than as a library book. There is a table of reference ranges for common laboratory tests on the inside covers. In the introduction, Dr Speicher refers to his 1983 Choosing Effective Laboratory Tests, which devotes about 100 pages to the problem-solving approach to medicine. His current work also uses that approach.

The book has 10 chapters, which generally correspond to what were called "clinical subproblems" in the earlier text. The organization scheme for all chapters is spelled out in the introduction. There are a list of which tests to choose, explanations of how to evaluate the tests, how to interpret positive and negative test results, and how to monitor the patient's disorder, additional abnormal test results, and references. The chapters' titles are "Screening," "General and Miscellaneous