220 THE MONTESSORI METHOD
ant labor of the semiography, that is to making a record of the symptoms revealed by his' observation of and experiments with the patients. He must do this if he is to receive from these theories any practical results.
Here, then, we have the beginner proceeding in a stereotyped way to tests of palpation, percussion, and auscultation, for the purpose of identifying the throbs, the resonance, the tones, the breathings, and the various sounds which alone can enable him to formulate a diagnosis. Hence the deep and unhappy discouragement of so many young physicians, and, above all, the loss of time; for it is often a question of lost years. Then, there is the immorality of allowing a man to follow a profession of so great responsibility, when, as is often the case, he is so unskilled and inaccurate in the taking of symptoms. The whole art of medicine is based upon an education of the senses; the schools, instead, prepare physicians through a study of the classics. All very well and good, but the splendid intellectual development of the physician falls, impotent, before the insufficiency of his senses.
One day, I heard a surgeon giving, to a number of poor mothers, a lesson on the recognition of the first deformities noticeable in little children from the disease of rickets. It was his hope to lead these mothers to bring to him their children who were suffering from this disease, while the disease was yet in the earliest stages, and when medical help might still be efficacious. The mothers understood the idea, but they did not know how to recognise these first signs of deformity, because they were lacking in the sensory education through which they might discriminate between signs deviating only slightly from the normal.
Therefore those lessons were useless. If we think of it