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Listing the most common presenting complaints and the diagnostic possibilities for each can easily inflict a literary lethargy on even the most avid reader. The author of Bedside Diagnosis has resisted this pitfall, however, by relating his subjects with aphorisms, philosophy, and an informal style.
After considering the differential diagnosis of pain in various regions of the body, the book deals with causes for frequently encountered symptoms. Discussion is proportionate to the incidence and relative importance of specific diseases and is limited to that which is essential.
Indeed, organization and outline are so efficient that personal opinions in the text appear incongruous. For example: "The blood pressure should be taken and recorded occasionally, but only as part of a general overhaul," or "The importance of a soiled tongue and an unpleasant breath cannot be overemphasized" (in acute appendicitis). But, by and large, this diagnostic refresher is factual and pleasantly stimulating.
Martin HB. Bedside Diagnosis. Arch Intern Med. 1963;112(2):304. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03860020202047
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