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Autopsy: A Tool for Diagnosis and for Education

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Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1998;129(10):844. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-129-10-199811150-00031
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“Autopsy remains the touchstone of diagnosis,” according to Henry Schneiderman, MD, of the University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington (Schneiderman H, Gruhn J. J Postgrad Med. 1985; 77:153-6). But autopsy rates have declined precipitously in recent decades-from a peak of 41% in 1964 to less than 5% today (Hasson J, Schneiderman H. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1995; 119:289-91). Schneiderman and colleague Jack Hasson, MD, label this situation a “disaster” because autopsy is an invaluable and irreplaceable tool not only for clinical medicine and epidemiology but also for medical education.



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