The art of diagnosis is disappearing and I take this as a very sad occurrence. One of the problems, perhaps, is that western medicine and scientists try so hard to ensure that there is no art to diagnosis; that it is a strict scientific discovery. In prior posts I have demonstrated how the art and the science must co-exist to arrive at a comprehensive and holistic diagnosis using our minds (theory) plus our senses (touch/palpation, listening, smelling, looking, etc.) and our experience and intuition.
Just yesterday, a New York Times Magazine article was brought to my attention. It was about diagnosing a young girl with periodic fevers and abdominal pain that would come and go every so often. The doctors were perplexed and it wasn’t until she had a positive test that they had any real idea of what was going on. If only this was a rare occurrence, I would pay it no mind. But the following quote was made by one of the doctors. It struck me how sad it is that a doctor could make this statement; especially as it seemed to be stated out of a pride for the advancement of western diagnostic tests. What about the decline of medical diagnosis? The quote was:
“In medicine, we can only really know a disease once we have a test that can reliably identify it.”