JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer
Reiling, Editorial Assistant.
ITS VALUE TO THE GENERAL PRACTITIONER.M. H. FUSSELL, M.D.PHILADELPHIA.
I believe that the vast majority of the practitioners of medicine never
make an examination of the blood of their patients unless such an examination
is suggested and carried out by a consultant. The reasons for this may be
many, but the following I believe to be the most important: 1. Blood examinations
as practical diagnostic measures are of comparatively recent origin; consequently,
men who graduated fifteen or more years ago were not taught the value of such
examinations, or how to make them. Unless such members of our profession have
had the subject forced upon them by teaching, or by continued intercourse
with men trained in such work, they are quite unlikely to take it upon themselves.
2. Blood examinations, like all other valuable diagnostic measures
take time. The general practitioner is hurried; in the town competition is
great; and those who depend upon the practice of medicine for a livelihood
are apt to become careless about the use of these finer diagnostic measures,
and depend upon less certain means of diagnosis. To once slur these valuable
agents is to learn to gradually discard them, to the great detriment of ourselves
and our patients. It is certain that in many cases examination of the blood
is quite as important as, indeed more important than, examination of the urine.
It is now an accepted fact that no case is thoroughly studied without a urine
examination. I believe it will soon be accepted by the general practitioner—as
it is now recognized by the specialist—that a blood examination is equally
as important for a thorough study of our cases.
BLOOD EXAMINATION. JAMA. 2000;284(4):411. doi:10.1001/jama.284.4.411
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