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Everyone is aware of shortcomings in existing textbooks of medicine, even though some of them are very excellent indeed. With medicine advancing so rapidly, collected monographs like Osler's system, or Allbutt's, are no longer effective ways of trying to keep abreast of the turbulent movements in medical ideas. Monographs are the best method for collecting, collating, and evaluating scholarly medical knowledge, but these too may age very rapidly and sooner or later get out of date. H. J. Roberts was frustrated with the shortcomings of available methods of getting information, and having an interest in obscure disease and difficult diagnosis, set about to make a book of his own to remedy such deficiencies. Though this book too has many shortcomings, it serves a very useful purpose. For about a year I have used it as a reference book. About three-fourths of the time I was able to get a needed
Bean WB. Difficult Diagnosis: A Guide to the Interpretation of Obscure Illness. Arch Intern Med. 1961;108(2):322–323. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620080154024
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