Consider the practitioner of medicine in 1875. His complete equipment, in most instances, consisted of his five senses developed to extraordinary degree, and such medicaments as he could carry in his saddle bags. In the diagnosis of disease he took, first of all, a history. Since the time of Hippocrates, great practitioners have recognized the importance of a knowledge of the natural history of disease or the course that a disease usually follows. After taking a suitable history, he proceeded to confirm his diagnosis by physical observations. The temperature was estimated by placing the hand on portions of the patient that seemed to be hot. By sight the doctor tried to tell the difference between a blush and a fever. He gazed on the tongue. The eruptions associated with various exanthems were to him an open book. Even the sense of smell was employed, and many a disciple of Aesculapius
FISHBEIN M. PRESENT-DAY TRENDS OF PRIVATE PRACTICE IN THE UNITED STATES. JAMA. 1932;98(24):2039–2045. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730500005003
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