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March 25, 1933


Author Affiliations

New York. Director, Montefiore Hospital

JAMA. 1933;100(12):988-989. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740120126031

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To the Editor:  —In the diagnosis of disease the physician relies on a number of scientific factors. Most important of these are (a) the past history of the patient, (b) his present history, (c) his symptoms and (d) the signs. These are of increasing scientific importance in the order given.On the signs of disease the modern physician stakes most of his clinical skill, his confidence in them being won by the fact that they are objective in character, while the symptoms of the patient are subjective. To evaluate the importance of signs accurately, the physician resorts to instruments of precision when his analysis of the case needs logical support. Thus, various physical and chemical examinations demonstrate signs more clearly that might escape detection by the naked human senses.For several reasons these instruments of precision have a special interest for the hospital administrator. First of all, though not the

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