March 1973

A Primer of Clinical Diagnosis.

Author Affiliations

Palo Alto, Calif


By William B. Buckingham, MD; Marshall Sparberg, MD; and Martin Brandfonbrener, MD. Price, $12.75. Pp 356, with 154 illustrations. Harper & Row Publishers Inc, Medical Department, 49 E 33rd St, New York 10016, 1971.

Arch Intern Med. 1973;131(3):470-471. doi:10.1001/archinte.1973.00320090160030

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This book is truly a primer. It was born of the necessity to teach clinical diagnosis to students still learning basic mechanisms of disease. Since courses on the introduction to clinical medicine usually begin during the first medical school year in most curricula, such a new approach to the teaching of diagnosis was most desirable.

It must be assumed that prospective users of this book will have little knowledge of diseases; thus it is curious that the importance of precise and pertinent history-taking, excites relatively little attention in this primer of diagnosis. The major portion of the book is concerned with physical examination. One thinks of The Clinical Approach to the Patient by Morgan and Engel as a complementary book, providing as much emphasis on talking to patients as this book emphasizes the laying on of hands.

The chapters follow more or less traditional topical areas, proceeding from head and

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