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Organ-Based Medicine

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The core problem of both medicine and all biomedical research, which would also exist if all research had become reproducible, statistically correct, and exclusively patient-oriented, is the division of the human body organ by organ. Apart from you GP, for each organ, there is a specialist in charge (Fig. 9.1) and a clinical department. This is similar for the definition of diseases. For example, all diseases are classified using the International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD) for diagnoses in outpatient and inpatient care in Germany, both for diagnosis and for billing purposes with the health insurance funds. The ICD-10 is a mono-hierarchically structured classification for diagnoses with up to five hierarchical levels. The core area is formed by the organ-specific chapters. Within the ICD chapters, diseases are then named after a symptom in this organ (e.g. heart failure, heart attack, kidney failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, gastritis, colitis, osteoporosis, myalgia, hearing loss, breast cancer, dermatitis) or—even slightly more weird—after the name of a doctor who first described the disease (e.g. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Crohn’s, Creutzfeldt-Jakob’s, Huntington’s, Meniére’s, Pfeiffer’s, Dupuytren’s, Wilson’s, etc.).

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Fig. 9.1


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Schmidt, H.H.H.W. (2022). Organ-Based Medicine. In: The end of medicine as we know it - and why your health has a future. Springer, Cham.

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