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Demonstrations of Physical Signs in Clinical…
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Demonstrations of Physical Signs in Clinical Surgery

by Hamilton Bailey

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At estate sales I look for old illustrated children’s books and illustrated technology, science, and medical books. That's where I found this one. I opened it to a gruesome picture of a penis with a chancre sore then flipped to one of various urine samples and a discussion what their colors mean. It's a textbook for doctors that describes diagnostic methods for all sorts of things: fractures, lumps, swelling, hernias, etc., etc. and it's fascinating. Mine is the 1948 edition and it's still in print. Bailey is a good writer who goes through the steps to rule out various things and narrow down a diagnosis, with case histories.
What makes it weird is that it's profusely illustrated with photos that all show the patients' faces, without their eyes blocked out. So you have these pictures of a motherly old lady smiling at you, with her blouse open to show carcinoma of the breast. Nervous looking naked teenage boy with torsion of a testicle. Middle aged man in a shirt and tie, his pants half-way down his legs displaying a dislocated knee.
I enjoyed this so much I went online and ordered four more of his books of the same vintage. I learned that he lived from 1894 – 1961 and was a British surgeon who became one of the most influential authors of surgical text-books in the 20th century. According to Wikipedia, "He was a pioneer in the use of illustrations and photographs in surgical textbooks." He married a photographer who collaborated with him on that. Apparently he was a brilliant but difficult man. In his fifties he was in a mental hospital for three years for a mental condition involving mania and paranoia but was successfully treated with lithium.
There is a biography of him. I gave in and ordered it, too. ( )
  piemouth | Apr 25, 2016 |
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