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Let us consider for a moment the first division – that of taking the case. If we hope to attain even the smallest degree of success in the curative action of our remedies we must observe this first step closely and follow the instructions in the Organon (Secs. 83-104) carefully. If our case is indifferently taken or the wrong symptoms recorded we surely cannot proceed with the second step. No matter what process we take to arrive at the remedy, unless we have our case well taken we shall only have failure for our pains. Let us consider the most important step. What does it mean to take the case?

I hear many answers to this: that everyone knows how to take the case, as it is simply a matter of recording the symptoms found in your patient. True, but what symptoms are you to look for and which do you record? I will say with the utmost belief that less than one man in a hundred practicing Homoeopathy to-day knows how to take a case properly.You may think that this is a pretty strong statement, but from my experience I think if any error has been made, it is that I have placed the number too high.

Many times I have had cases sent to me for repertory analysis with page after page of symptoms found in this patient, and out of this vast collection not one upon which a prescription could be hung, not one to differentiate this case from hundreds of others suffering from the same disease.

There is the rub. There is the stumbling block.

They all make a diagnosis and many of the cases sent to me would make fine textbook descriptions of the disease, but is it not the disease we want to make a record of; it is the individualized diseased patient.

No man can make a homoeopathic prescription from diagnostic or pathognomonic symptoms. The whole aim of the physician is to secure the language of nature. It is necessary to know sickness not from pathology, not from physical diagnosis, no matter how important these branches are, but by symptoms, the language of nature.

In studying homoeopathic philosophy as given in the Organon, the Chronic Diseases and Kent’s Lectures we are struck by the fact that many of the main points are emphasized by arrangement of the ideas in groups of three, and it may not be out of place to review them briefly.

An excerpt from “How to Use the Repertory”, by Glen Irving Bidwell.

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