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Article
December 1929

NEED FOR ELASTICITY IN DIAGNOSTIC CRITERIA

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1929;20(6):873-874. doi:10.1001/archderm.1929.01440060117012

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Abstract

In a paper recently read before the Dermatological Section of the Pennsylvania State Medical Society, U. J. Wile called attention to a tendency in modern dermatologic practice which seriously handicaps diagnosis, and which probably is responsible for many of the dissenting opinions expressed in regard to the cases presented at various dermatologic society meetings. This tendency is the adherence to textbook pictures of disease without a proper appreciation of the fact that all disease processes, particularly those which occur in the skin, are far more prone to appear in forms that vary from the typical than to conform to the original descriptions.

Morbid conditions, Wile states, are generally capable of certain cleancut definite characteristics without which they are difficult to established as entities. A particular disease, therfore, must have certain basic earmarks, which serve to distinguish it from others. All morbid conditions, however, are capable of infinite mutation, and so

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