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January 4, 1936


Author Affiliations


From the neuropsychiatric service, Lakeside Hospital.

JAMA. 1936;106(1):26-31. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770010028008

The trend of progress in the medical sciences during the past century has been toward the interpretation of illness in terms of tissue change. The conditions revealed by physical diagnosis, the etiologic agents disclosed by bacteriology and pathology, and the illuminating diagnostic contributions of the x-rays have added immeasurably to a more logical concept of sickness. This knowledge, made use of by medicine and even more brilliantly by surgery, has helped mankind through the many cures that have been accomplished.

However, such progress has not been without regrettable losses. This emphasis on local tissue change, derided by Kennedy1 as representative of the materialism and dogma of the cellular epoch of pathology, quite obviously resulted in a neglect of those patients who failed to show "organic pathology." Often they were dismissed with the derogatory designation of "neurotic."

In the past three decades there has awakened a significant interest in neuroses.

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