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June 1973

Clinical Disorders of Iron Metabolism, ed 2.

Arch Intern Med. 1973;131(6):942. doi:10.1001/archinte.1973.00320120182021

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When faced with a second edition, a reviewer must always ask the question: is it being written merely because it is "time" for another edition, or does it represent a real advance over the first? In this instance, the answer is mixed.

The section on metabolism of iron is excellent. The chapter on iron deficiency, however, represents the usual approach to the problem in clinical medicine: an expansion of knowledge in the form of minute and frequent empirical correlations of data rather than trying to develop a truly conceptual approach (in which the reader learns a few basic facts from which he deduces a wide variety of answers to clinical problems).

With the explosion in knowledge, there is so much information that it has been compartmentalized by necessity. Incorporating more factual information does not facilitate understanding the problem. For example, in the chapter on iron deficiency there is nothing

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