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July 1936

Examination of the Patient and Symptomatic Diagnosis.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1936;58(1):186. doi:10.1001/archinte.1936.00170110194016

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From time to time attempts are made to simplify the procedure of diagnosis by offering one or another variety of formulary. One is told to consult a list of symptoms, obtains cross-references to various pages and finally by an almost automatic procedure learns what ails any particular patient. That such a system can ever work, that formulas can ever replace knowledge of disease and clinical reasoning, is a proposition too absurd to require any particular challenge.

In the present book the author attempts to simplify diagnosis along these lines. Under each organ, the stomach for example, are a great number of questions and answers, such as: "Pain at McBurney's point? Appendicitis;"' or "Has the patient suffered from recurring attacks of pain over a length of time, with intervals of entire relief between the attacks? Answer: Chronic periodic gastrosuccorrhoea of the primary or secondary form." One need hardly go farther to

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