Medicine: Disease Numbers

Mankind is subject to 20,000-odd diseases. Remembering and keeping straight the names of 20,000-odd diseases keeps the medical profession busy. Last week a National Conference on Nomenclature of Disease met in Manhattan and considered a numerical system to make it easier for one doctor to know exactly what another is talking about. Current naming systems are confusing because one system calls an ailment after its discoverer, as Pott's Disease; another system calls the same disease according to the causative agent and the part affected, as tuberculosis of the spine; a third according to...

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