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JAMA 100 Years Ago
November 8, 2000


Author Affiliations

JenniferReiling, Editorial Assistant

JAMA. 2000;284(18):2299. doi:10.1001/jama.284.18.2299-JJY00037-2-1

An enterprising firm which manufactures clinical thermometers, is advertising its instruments to the general public in some of the magazines. There does not seem to be any reason for an objection from the medical profession to this procedure. On the contrary, it is probable that the intelligent use of the clinical thermometer by the laity may be the means of enabling the family physician to see many cases of illness at an earlier period than would otherwise be the case; and it would often obviate the necessity of responding in person to a night call, as the record of the clinical thermometer transmitted by telephone would usually enable the physician to properly estimate the immediate gravity of the case. The advertisement referred to advises people to regularly take the temperature of themselves and children, which is neither advisable nor practicable. A reading taken when there is any feeling of malaise might be of assistance to the physician in enabling him to see the case in the primary stages of disease and in aiding him to arrive at an early diagnosis. On the whole, it would seem to be advisable for physicians to encourage the intelligent use of the clinical thermometer.