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Family history: the neglected risk factor in disease prevention

Simon E P Hauser
Med J Aust 2010; 193 (7): 429-430.
Published online: 4 October 2010

To the Editor: I read the article by Langlands and colleagues1 with some dismay, and a sinking heart. Their report is further evidence of the dangers of moving away from the basic skills of comprehensive history taking and performing a detailed physical examination. Interestingly, in the United States, the debate regarding performing a physical examination has come full circle, from virtually ignoring its importance to now telling us how vital it is and how to perform it.2 But it is the taking of a comprehensive history that, as one of my mentors told me, “is where the money is”, and a detailed family history is an integral part of this.

  • Simon E P Hauser

  • The Northern Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.

Correspondence: simon.hauser@nh.org.au

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