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STUDENTS' AIDS SERIES.
AIDS TO DIAGNOSIS
J. MILNER FOTHERGILL
MEMBER OF THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF PAYSICIANS OF LONDON
ETC., ETC., ETC.
F76 Pt. I 1881
The student is often lost in surprise, not uncommonly blended with suspicion or scepticism, as to what it is which directs an experienced practitioner as to the questions which he puts to his patients; which causes him to use his instruments of precision little ; and sometimes induces him to dispense with them altogether.
It is Semeiology.
What is meant by and involved in the term Semeiology' it will be essayed to explain in the following pages.
As such a work is largely original, allowances are craved for defects and shortcomings.
October 2nd, 1880.
AIDS TO DIAGNOSIS.
SEMEIOLOGY. Suelov = a sign or a symptom. Semeiology is used here to signify the signs and symptoms which are noted by the eye, before a physical examination of the patient is made. But it is found that the information afforded by feeling the pulse and taking the temperature must be discussed under this heading, and even the examination of the urine, etc. Students are taught physical signs at the present time very carefully ; so carefully, indeed, that while they can measure the amount of disease present in the lungs with much accuracy, they know very little about the individual in whom that disease exists. All that the old practitioner has learnt to take in by the eyes, they are largely left to learn at the bedside for themselves, and by themselves, when they get into practice, and at the expense of their patients. Some teachers point out many things, signs of value, to their students, while others make close observation of their patients when stripped ; but are comparatively indifferent about them while they have their clothes on. But careful observation will often tell a great deal, from the physique, the gait, and the indications furnished by the contour of the head, and by the outlines of the face. Such observation, it will be found, tells much about the general condition which underlies the malady, or ailment specially complained of. Such observation will furnish most useful hints as to the line of treatment to be