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Article
June 9, 1923

THE ELICITATION AND EVALUATION OF PHYSICAL SIGNS: IN THE DIAGNOSIS OF PULMONARY TUBERCULOSIS

Author Affiliations

HARTFORD, CONN.

JAMA. 1923;80(23):1659-1664. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02640500001001
Abstract

A skilful technic and sound judgment in appraising symptoms are the essentials of good surgery. The importance placed on the former is evinced by the numerous articles that appear in the medical journals each year, describing in great detail how various operations are performed. On the other hand, discussions of technic in conducting physical examinations are very uncommon—yet a skilled neurologist may detect a nerve palsy or elicit a reflex not previously noted because of his superior technic in conducting the examination.

There can be no doubt that the failure to remove the clothing and lack of familiarity with the technic necessary to elicit the physical signs that accompany early tuberculous disease result in many incipient cases being unrecognized. Mistakes in diagnosis are about equally divided between the failure to detect the physical signs and the erroneous interpretation placed on the signs elicited. The former results in missing the early

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