The physician, in trying to understand a phenomenon which is new to him, or one of which he is seeing many examples, has recourse to several aids, one of which is the literature. In judging any communication he will ask himself: (1) Does it help me to understand the phenomena I am witnessing? (2) Does it help me to orient myself in the field of knowledge represented by the writing? (3) Does it help me to deliver a larger quantity or better quality of medical care? (4) Does it help me to understand my role as physician?
Let us suppose that the practitioner has been consulted by the parents of a number of children with the main problem of bed wetting. He consults the textbook under review and sees that there are 12 pages devoted to the subject. It appears scholarly in that the text refers to 1500 BC and