Propaedeutics or propedeutics is a historical term for an introductory course into a discipline: art, science, etc. Etymology: pro- + Greek: paideutikós, "pertaining to teaching".
Propaedeutics may be defined as knowledge necessary for learning, but not for proficiency.
In medicine, the terms "propedeutics"/"propedeutic" specifically refers to preliminary collection of data about patient by observation, palpation, temperature measurement, etc., without specialized diagnostic procedures.
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