Intended for healthcare professionals


Symptoms and semeions

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 21 September 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:651
  1. Ronald Ingle, retired general practitioner (
  1. South Africa

    In the Endpiece entitled “The name of the illness” (BMJ2006;332: 1070) Helen Worthington quoted Groopman as writing: “A doctor begins by examining the words of his patient to determine their clinical significance. He then translates the words into medical language.”

    This is precisely the process that Wilbush discussed when he wrote of the decline in the use of clinical information.1 We are reared on symptoms and signs, but he …

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