Medical School and House Staff Days


After my work with Curt Richter,starting even before I entered medical school,I decided to pursue a career in clinical research in an academic institution.After courses in anatomy,pathology,and microbiology,I had my first contact with patients in a course called “Physical Diagnosis”, or of officially, “Introduction to Clinical Medicine”. For the first time we were able to speak to and examine living patients.We defined diagnosis as the identification of a disease by investigation of its signs and symptoms.Today I refer to these and other data about the patient as “manifestations” of disease.We took courses in clinical diagnosis,laboratory diagnosis,physical diagnosis,anatomical diagnosis,bacteriological diagnosis,x-ray diagnosis,and electrocardiographic diagnosis.All of these courses showed us how to characterize a disease.We used the term “identify”, rather than “characterize” a disease,because we were then in an “ontological” period of medicine where diseases were thought of as “things” to be detected and,if possible,eliminated.


Typhoid Fever Pneumococcal Pneumonia Nursery School Physical Diagnosis Chief Resident 
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© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2006

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