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Doctor Feinstein has written an intriguing book. Many have mourned the passing of the old time clinician and the denigration of clinical medicine by the ascendency of laboratory and technicological science. So does Dr. Feinstein, but not for sentimental reasons. He believes, and indeed shows, that clinical science is a discipline in its own right and that clinical data, frequently expressible only in words rather than numbers, can nevertheless be so organized and so ordered as to form a logical, formal, even computerized basis for diagnosis prognosis, therapy, and research.
The language of clinical medicine is symptoms and signs. It is concerned not so much with disease as with patients who have disease, with their complaints, their environment, their treatment, their getting better or worse, and their recovery or death. These are conditions and events which the physician, and only the physician, can observe. They represent his clinical experience. But
Ricketts HT. Clinical Judgment.. Arch Intern Med. 1968;121(1):105-106. doi:10.1001/archinte.1968.03640010107022