March 1956


AMA Arch Intern Med. 1956;97(3):267-268. doi:10.1001/archinte.1956.00250210013001

ALTHOUGH prognosis—that branch of medicine which deals with the prediction of the course and outcome of disease—is tacitly recognized as being of the greatest importance, little has been written in the way of systematic analysis of the subject. And yet prognosis—outlook—is often the first thing about which the family and the patient inquire. What are his chances? How long will he be sick? In what sort of shape will he be left? are questions which the doctor is called on every day to answer. The older physicians spoke of prognosis quoad vitam and prognosis quoad sanationem. The first referred to death or survival. The second concerned health; in other words, even if the patient lives how long will he be ill, what will be the character of the course of the disease, and in what sort of condition will he emerge from his illness? These very terms indicate that prognosis

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