July 1956

The Relief of Symptoms.

Author Affiliations

By Dr. Walter Modell, M.D., F.A.C.T. Price, $8.00. Pp. 450. W. B. Saunders Company, 218 W. Washington Sq., Philadelphia 5, 1955.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1956;98(1):126. doi:10.1001/archinte.1956.00250250132027

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Dr. Walter Modell has skillfully presented an intelligent and practical approach to the tedious matter of symptom therapy in the first portion of this three-part work: In this first part he discusses the frequent necessity and advisability of intelligently treating symptoms often even in the absence of a definitive diagnosis. He sites many pros and cons in the philosophy of treatment and in general advocates less compulsive diagnostic prerequisites to therapy. This approach is further augmented by emphasis on the importance of the ever present placebo effects, both positive and negative: Thus, some of the usual textbook type of dogmatism is avoided, resulting in a more practical approach to therapy. An understanding and proper use of these concepts presented in part one of this book, especially those dealing with the placebo action of drugs, will save time and worry and often needless calls for the general practitioner and specialist alike.

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