Once the totality of the symptoms that principally determine and distinguish the disease case-in other words, the image of any kind of disease-has been exactly recorded, 150 the most difficult work is done. During the treatment (especially of a chronic disease), the medical-art practitioner then has the total disease image always before him. He can behold it in all of its parts and lift out the characteristic signs. He can then select (from the lists of symptoms of all the medicines which have become known according to their pure actions) a well-aimed similar, artificial disease potence, in the form of a homeopathically chosen medicinal means, to oppose the total disease image. During treatment [at a follow-up examination of the patient], when the medical-art practitioner inquires as to the result of the medicine and the altered condition of the patient, all he needs to do with his new disease findings is refer to the original list of symptoms and omit those that have improved, note what is still present, and add whatever has, perchance, come up in the way of new ailments.
150 In their treatments, the physicians of the old school made it extremely easy for themselves in this regard. They made no exact inquiry about all of the patient’s circumstances. Indeed, the physician often interrupted patients in the account of their individual ailments in order not be disturbed in the rapid writing up of the prescription, which was compounded of several ingredients that were unknown to the physician as to their true action. No allopathic physician, as said, insisted upon learning all the exact circumstances of a case, and still fewer of these circumstances did he ever write down. When he saw the patient again after several days, he was aware of little or nothing about the few circumstances he had heard at first since he had seen so many other, different patients since then. He had let it all go in one ear and out the other. At subsequent visits, he only asked a few general questions, made as if he felt the pulse and looked at the tongue before writing another prescription (likewise without reason) or continuing the first, in more handsome portions several times a day, then he hurried off with elegant gestures to thoughtlessly visit the fiftieth or sixtieth patient of the morning. This is how the most cogitative of all pursuits-the conscientious, careful investigation of the state of each single patient, and the special cure to be grounded thereon-was practiced by people who called themselves physicians and rational medical-art practitioners. The result was almost invariably bad, as is natural. Patients had to go to such people partly because there was nothing better and partly for the sake of etiquette and established convention.