Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine
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Chap. 1 : The Practice of Medicine
- This combination of medical knowledge, intuition, experience, and judgment defines the art of medicine, which is as necessary to the practice of medicine as is a sound scientific base.
- An informative history is more than an orderly listing of symptoms. By listening to patients and noting the way in which they describe their symptoms, physicians can gain valuable insight.
- All physicians have had experiences in which imaging studies revealed findings that led to an unexpected diagnosis. Nonetheless, patients must endure each of these tests, and the added cost of unnecessary testing is substantial. Furthermore, investigation of an unexpected abnormal finding may be associated with risk and/ or expense and may lead to the diagnosis of an irrelevant or incidental problem. A skilled physician must learn to use these powerful diagnostic tools judiciously, always considering whether the results will alter management and benefit the patient.