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Commentary
November 8, 2004

Simple Is BeautifulThe Neglected Power of Simple Tests

Arch Intern Med. 2004;164(20):2198-2200. doi:10.1001/archinte.164.20.2198

Difficult diagnoses are a common challenge for primary care and hospital physicians alike. Physicians often respond to these cases by ordering an extensive battery of tests and imaging studies.1 Results may be diagnostic, but sometimes leading clues are overlooked or considered unimportant; and often, incidental findings beget more unnecessary testing. This process is not only costly and time-consuming but may actually endanger the patient.2 The following case histories emphasize an alternative approach.

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