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November 14, 1914


JAMA. 1914;LXIII(20):1754-1755. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02570200048014

At this moment when the light of rational medicine is beginning to penetrate into the darkest corners of psychiatry, when chemical and biologic laboratories are uniting to displace the new psychosexual philosophy, it is most timely to make a plea for the thorough physical examination of the mentally afflicted. To just the extent that one whiles away precious time in deciphering dreams and reveling in the free associations of interesting neurotics, does one fail to learn all that can be known of a patient's physical constitution. If we are to achieve therapeutic and diagnostic success, the physical investigation of the insane must receive at least as much attention as, for instance, the devotee of the new psychology gives to psychanalysis.

That even competent observers may occasionally fail to recognize true neurologic conditions has been conclusively shown by E. E. Southard, who analyzed sixty-one cases in which the diagnosis of general

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