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January 13, 1940


JAMA. 1940;114(2):179-180. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810020083028

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To the Editor:—  It is generally admitted that the private practitioner is not doing as much as he should do in promoting preventive medicine. For that reason public health agencies have had to take over vaccination and other programs even for those who can pay, because the work would not otherwise be done. I believe this is largely due to the lack of a proper approach to the problem in teaching undergraduates. I believe that every student should be taught to ask the routine question in history taking "What diseases have you been protected against by vaccination and when?" Furthermore, this should not be a mere ritual of recording but something should be done with the answer. That something should take the form of requiring students to render a dual diagnosis in every case (except when the patient is too sick to stand routine questioning)—a clinical diagnosis and a public

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