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Sept 18, 1967

Clinical Judgment

JAMA. 1967;201(12):985. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130120093044

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Medicine's historic endowment is bequeathed to us with encrustations of dogma and unquestioning selfsatisfaction. Contemporary medical effort, increasingly based on technology, has tended to discard bedside medicine as the product of the less desirable aspects of its past and not a fit subject for the precision such as we find in the laboratory. Society meetings increasingly concern themselves with the contents of glassware and electronic boxes. Feinstein has demolished these spurious cleavages and programmed the bedside science of medical practice and its symbiosis with laboratory art. The focus is the clinician and his patients.

Feinstein demonstrates the clinician to be a uniquely discriminating, adaptable, and portable scientific apparatus that can also be calibrated. In a week of practice the clinician conducts more experiments than his laboratory colleagues do in a year. Yet, to bring to bear his indispensable judgment, the clinician must be prepared to deal with variability in his