The subtitle of this volume is Critical Evaluation of Laboratory Procedures in the Study of the Patient; it was designed to instruct the reader in a rational use of numerous technical aids to the art of diagnosis. The original edition was refreshingly different from the handbooks of its day and had a tone all its own. Such statements as "In clinical medicine a laboratory procedure begins and ends with a patient," and "There appears to be no doubt that the responsibility for obtaining laboratory data of reliable quality rests on the physician who is in charge of the patient" were not to be found in many books, then or now. The original edition also made the reader bluntly aware of costs, and discussed them, something not commonly done in polite textbook society.
The second edition now appears after the passage of ten years, and it is interesting to see the