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August 12, 1905


JAMA. 1905;XLV(7):467-468. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.02510070035008

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It seems very probable that the feature of the session of the American Medical Association at Portland, for which it will go down into history will be its clearing of the field of medical thought of a good deal of its trust in so-called pathognomonic symptoms. While it has been recognized for many years that the whole clinical picture is much more important than the recognition of any one symptom, however serious or apparently significant, the discussions on heart affections, on nephritis and on stomach diseases at the recent session emphasized the necessity for the clinical investigation of all sides of the pathologic condition present, rather than of any single symptom or even set of symptoms. This is the position that has always been recognized by conservative clinicians as most helpful in every generation. It constitutes the reason why practitioners of wide experience have frequently reechoed the old saw: "It

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