Clinical ExaminationBMJ 2009; 338 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b1786 (Published 05 May 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1786
- David Warriner, core medical trainee Y1 (cardiology), Northern General Hospital, Sheffield
John Macleod is to the human body what John Hayne is to the automobile: both developed a manual dedicated to diagnosis first published back in 1964. The difference is that Macleod covers all makes and models in one book, while Hayne needed more than 200; and medicine is not DIY, nor should it be practised in a garage.
Despite the book’s title its first mandate is the spoken art of history taking: the importance of an accurate one, the perils of a poor one, and the inexcusable “poor historian.” Macleod warns that “rushing into the examination without careful history taking is …