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March 17, 1923

Medical Axioms, Aphorisms and Clinical Memoranda.

JAMA. 1923;80(11):793. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02640380057031

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The author has here collected axioms and brief statements concerning the diagnosis and treatment of various conditions. The statements are taken from his own experience and also from the experience of several hundred ancient and modern authors. The axioms are thought-provoking and instructive. Any one of them is the text for a complete paper, and probably says in a few words what most authors would require a paper to bring out. A few specimens are quoted:

Never believe what a patient tells you his doctor has said.—William Jenner.

The first qualification for a physician is hopefulness.—James Little.

Give your prognosis in heart disease on the best supposition, treating your patient on the worse.—Clifford Allbutt.

Chorea is commoner in the more emotional sex and at the more emotional age.—Hughlings Jackson.

I am of the opinion that our first duty is to inquire whether a thing be or

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