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February 1965

Conybeare's Textbook of Medicine.

Arch Intern Med. 1965;115(2):253. doi:10.1001/archinte.1965.03860140133039

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Any textbook of general medicine is a paradox in itself. To encompass all that is known about medicine within a dozen volumes, let alone one—albeit the size of Gone With The Wind—is virtually impossible. Yet admittedly there must be some common source of basic clinical information from which to start. Thus, Dr. W. N. Mann of London, Senior Physician to Guy's Hospital, has gathered together 18 of his colleagues and attempted to construct a basic reference for the average general practitioner. Tn this effort, he only succeeds in cataloging a few hundred clinical conditions—the sum total of all the basic science, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis for which are limited to one or two pages (with the sole exception of tuberculosis which somehow merits 35 pages).

Part of the paradox of this textbook, as well as any other general textbook of medicine, is the fact that the

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