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April 19, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(16):996-1000. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.62480160018001c

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As a general proposition it may be said that prompt accurate diagnosis is the most difficult and at the same time the most important thing in medicine or surgery.

This is especially true in the matter of tuberculous diseases. Recognized early, they are very largely curable; recognized late, the prognosis is relatively and almost absolutely bad. In other words, in tuberculosis the promptness of the diagnosis very largely determines whether the given case shall result in recovery or death. If, then, early diagnosis is of such great importance; if it enables us to transform a hopeless disease into one which is in a large measure curable, it behooves us to make use of every harmless means within our power to discover the lesion and determine its nature at the earliest possible moment. The microscope, the stethoscope, the clinical thermometer and the tape measure are in the hands of every physician;

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