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March 7, 1986

The Logic of Laboratory Medicine: Principles for Use of the Clinical Laboratory

Author Affiliations

Marshall University Huntington, WVa

JAMA. 1986;255(9):1203. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370090129042

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


The subtitle "Principles for Use of the Clinical Laboratory" is probably more accurate but less catchy than the title. This text has several contributors, all individuals with experience in the clinical laboratory field.

The text has four major sections: "Analytic Principles," "Advanced Analytical Principles," "Physiologic Principles," and "Selected Aspects of Laboratory Practice." At the end of each of the chapters in the first three sections are questions or problems, with the answers provided in the back of the text. Also at the back is a glossary and a usable index.

The first three parts, which contain 13 chapters, generally read well and are relevant to the title and the concept that the author puts forth in his preface, ie, that clinical reasoning is absent from the curricula of most medical schools. In fact, most people would probably believe that this absence persists throughout residency and practice. The problem is how