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May 13, 1968

Rare Diseases and Lesions: Their Contributions to Clinical Medicine

JAMA. 1968;204(7):638. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140200078040

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This book offers an intimate account of Dr. Bean's interest in patients with unusual diseases. It is a vivid and interesting survey of rare diseases, some no longer rare, and others unusual only because they cut across conventional classifications and ontological concepts. Students, residents, and practitioners will find brief and illuminating descriptions and wise advice, which will enlarge their knowledge and lead them to observe patients better and with greater interest.

The sections on bleeding from the gut, angiomatosis, the lung, and miscellaneous diseases are especially good. The preface comments upon, but does not explain, Hippocratic, Platonic and ontological thought. The epilogue is a potpourri: "A pigeon breast may contain a cooing dove murmur, though the two are not usually related" and "The body as a volume container may be disgraced by obscene obesity or violated as an empty shrine of neglect in anorexia nervosa."

The reader encounters a distinct