Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Medical Classics

Clinical Examination

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 05 May 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1786
  1. David Warriner, core medical trainee Y1 (cardiology), Northern General Hospital, Sheffield
  1. orange_cyclist{at}

    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 …

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