As stated in the forward, this book is based on the belief that the "causes of disease are often indicated by the grouping and mode of development of symptoms and signs."
There are 22 chapters, and each is devoted to a common symptom or sign of disease (cough, pyrexia etc.). The physiology of the symptom is first discussed. Then a diagnostic approach is presented which, if followed in its logical sequence, will lead one to study each of the diseases in which the symptom or sign is a prominent feature.
Although the book is of the handbook type, it is much more than a mere catalogue of diseases under symptom headings.