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Functional Unit – Classifying Diseases

Classifying Diseases

“Obsessive Compulsiveness is required for success in medicine.”
– RLH Hunner –

So far we have used functional units to tackle specific clinical questions presented by patients. Functional units can be useful in other ways too. One example is in classifying diseases, a useful exercise to get to understand a group of diseases.

Renal failure is a subject of confusion for many medical students, and is a good example of where classification may be usefully applied. A broad range of diseases may affect kidneys and they can be broken down with a clear functional unit. If you were to combine it with the power of the sieve, you could easily develop a comprehensive plan of a great number of causes of renal failure.

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