About this book
The Oxford English Dictionary defines diagnosis as: 'Identification of a disease by careful investigation of its symptoms and history' . Regrettably, the value of the history in the diagnosis of disease often seems to be neglected in both undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. The considerable advances in medical technology have made it easy to carry out a multiplicity of tests. As a result, there is frequently an unfortunate tendency to rely on the results of tests before decisions are taken on diagnosis and treatment, even though such tests are often of limited value in the manage ment of the patients. This book is an attempt to redress the balance and place the proper emphasis on the diagnostic value of a well-taken and perspicacious history. The main purpose of the book is to show that most of the clinical problems encountered in daily practice can be dealt with effectively and satisfactorily on the basis of a good clinical history. This should be supplemented by a prob lem-orientated clinical examination, the primary function of which is either to confirm and amplify the diagnosis provided by the history, or to refute it.
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