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October 10, 1977

Diagnostic Index of Clinical Practice

Author Affiliations

University of Maryland School of Medicine Baltimore

JAMA. 1977;238(15):1630-1631. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280160024013

To the Editor.—  The article by Cassell, "A Diagnostic Index of Clinical Practice" (237:663-667, 1977), is a superb example of a simple technique for maintaining an ongoing profile of a physician's office practice. However, I was disappointed that scarce mention was made of what may be one of the most valuable uses to which such a diagnostic index can be put. This simple method of developing a practice profile is a superb tool for identifying personal learning needs and maximizing the benefits of a personal continuing medical education program. Although Cassel directs his comments to the use of this index in subspecialty practice, such methods for recording diagnoses and problems and for keeping a running tabulation of diagnostic procedures, deaths, perplexing problems, and complaints are equally applicable to primary care or general practice. Periodic assessment of this personal index allows a physician to identify the kinds of patients that he