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June 2, 1956


JAMA. 1956;161(5):475. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970050077024

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To the Editor:—  About a year ago I devised a folder called "Health Notes." It is a simple, brief, and yet effective method for recording details regarding disease and accidents, and it could be a partial answer to Dr. Carl A. Dragstedt's plea for a personal health log as set forth in his guest editorial in The Journal, April 14, 1956, page 1320. It is common knowledge that the practicing physician can find no patient who knows, in accurate detail, his own medical history, much less that of his family, and this fact constitutes a serious defect in applying good medical care. It is surprising that every medical student is taught, at great length, how to elicit the chief complaint, the present illness, and the history, but no instruction is given to the medical student about how he might help his patients keep such a record in the first place.

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