In a sense, the pathologist and physiologist approach an endocrinological problem from opposite sides. The former starts with the completed picture of the disease, learns to associate such-and-such changes in some endocrine gland with the disease, and finally comes out with a cause-and-effect relationship between the gland and the disease process in question; the latter determines what such-and-such a hormone does and deducts therefrom what the result of an under- or over-function of said hormone would be. The pathologist uncovers new truths by a tearing-down process; the physiologist gets at his new truths by a building-up process. The pathologist asks "What"; the physiologist asks "How" and "Why." The pathologist resorts to observation and to correlation; the physiologist resorts to observation and to correlation but, in addition, to the formulation of working hypotheses. The pathologist moves along step by step on firm ground; the physiologist loops along, albeit part of the
Roland CG. Hyperparathyroidism: Some Early Patients. Arch Intern Med. 1970;126(4):558–566. doi:10.1001/archinte.1970.00310100004001
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