PONDERINGS: THE EXAMINATION OF THE PATIENT
James Tyler Kent. A.M, M. D
Homoeopathy also has rules for examining the case that must be followed with exactitude through private practice.
Among pupils who have been taught here, I know some who have merely memorized and some have not even memorized but have fallen away.
These students are violating everything they have been taught ; they have gone to low potencies, making greater and greater failures, to the shame of the tutor and the science they profess to follow.
I expect some in the sound of my voice will be doing this five years from now ; this is a warning, stop before you go too far, or you will not feel the fault is your own.
You will think you were hypnotized and led into false ways.
If you neglect making a careful examination the patient will be the first sufferer, but in the end you yourself will suffer from it, and Homoeopathy also.
The questions themselves that Hahnemann gives are not important, but they are suggestive and will lead you in a certain direction.
Question the patient, then the friends, and observe for yourself ; if you do not obtain enough to prescribe on, go back to particulars.
After much experience you will become expert in questioning patients so as to bring out the truth.
Store up Materia Medica so as to roe it and it will flow out as your language flows.
You must put yourself on a level with the form of speech your patients use.
Be sure you have not put any words into your patient’s mouth or biased his expression.
You want to know all the particulars but without asking about it directly.
If you ask a direct question, you must not put the symptom in the record, for ninety-nine times out of a hundred the patient will answer by “Yes or ‘No”.
If the patient’s answer is “Yes or No,” your question was badly formed.
If a question brings no answer let it alone, for he does not know or has not noticed.
Questions giving a choice of answers are defective.
Ascertain the precise part of the body the pain was in and the character of the pain, etc.
In investigating a case there are many things to learn, the length of the attack, appearance of the discharge if it is a case of vomiting, its character, the time of day, etc., etc.
Every student should go over these questions framing collateral questions, and practicing case-taking.
Leave the patient in freedom always.
Do not put any words into his mouth.
Never allow yourself to hurry a patient ; get into a fixed habit of examination, then it will stay with you.
It is only when you sustain the sharpest kind of work that you can keep your reputation and fulfil your highest use.
Say as little as you can, but keep the patient talking and keep him talking close to the line.
If he will only talk, you can find out symptoms in general and particular.
If he goes off, bring him back to the line quietly and without disturbing him.
There is not much trouble in private practice.
There you will do a better average of work.
All sleep symptoms are important, they are so closely related to the mind, the transfer from sleep to waking, from cerebrum to cerebellum, is important.
Old pathologists were unable to account for difficult breathing during sleep.
The cerebrum rules respiration during sleep.
To know the functions of the white matter and gray matter is important.
A rational knowledge of anatomy is important.
No homoeopath ever discouraged the true study of anatomy and physiology.
It is important not only to know the superficial but the real, profound character, to enable you to recognize one symptom-image from another.
Study this paragraph carefully and meditate upon it.
If you do not form habits now, you will not form practice hereafter.
You have no regular course and will get into habits you cannot break up.