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June 8, 1984

Do-lt-Yourself Medical Testing: More Than 160 Tests You Can Do at Home

Author Affiliations

Edmonds, Wash


by Cathey Pinckney and Edward R. Pinckney, 266 pp, with illus, $14.95, New York, Facts On File Inc, 1983.

JAMA. 1984;251(22):3017-3018. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340460087036

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One of the reasons physicians are licensed by the state is to prevent people from untrained quackery. Another is to prevent them from themselves. This book by Pinckney and Pinckney is noxious in both respects and ignores the Chinese: a physician who treats himself has a fool for both a patient and a doctor.

Dr Edward Pinckney, a one-time assistant editor of The Journal and a fellow of the American College of Physicians, has created a monster for those of us in the trenches who provide daily medical care.

Do-It-Yourself Medical Testing begins with the premise that "there is nothing new about home medical testing," but in 266 pages encourages the layman to establish a home clinical lab that would make most primary care physicians envious. The book is written to slake the thirst of the American public in second-guessing the physician and represents unabashed literary profiteering.

The husband-and-wife authors