The Diagnosis Game

Paul U. Unschuld

in What Is Medicine?

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780520257658
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944701 | DOI:
The Diagnosis Game

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This chapter focuses on the importance of looking past the external symptoms of a sick person in order to diagnose the underlying disease. Each disease is different and a disease does not necessarily always express itself with the same symptom. Only the physician can “see” the details of the individual illness inside the body. Physicians “see” something that the pharmacist and patients do not see. The preparation of the physicians' task involved creating pharmacology. They finally incorporated the properties of pharmaceutics into the same theoretical framework that had already included the body functions for over a thousand years. Then, they claimed for the physician an exclusive ability to determine the individual condition of the patient by looking into the body through diagnosis. Finally, they claimed the ability to compile great and effective prescriptions for the condition of each individual patient through the linking of their diagnostic and pharmacologic knowledge.

Keywords: external symptoms; pharmacology; pharmaceutics; Chinese traditional medicine; diagnosis

Chapter.  511 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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