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July 8, 1905


JAMA. 1905;XLV(2):110. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.02510020032009

One of the temptations which come to the clinician of even moderate experience is the tendency to make diagnoses on sight, the so-called "snapshot" diagnoses. The innate desire to play to the gallery which is present to some extent in most of us, as well as the wish to appear preternaturally brilliant in the eyes of the public or the student, is the cause of this temptation. Even the most conservative among us gets into the habit of making subconscious snapshots when he almost unconsciously sizes up a patient at his first visit. While such diagnoses are occasionally justified, they are, in the long run, severely to be condemned. Certain diseases are, in their well-marked forms, so characteristic that even the tyro can hardly fail to recognize them. A number might be mentioned, acromegaly, exophthalmic goiter, myxedema, and osteitis deformans among the rest. But it is in the fruste forms

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