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June 2, 1962

A Short History of Medicine

JAMA. 1962;180(9):794. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050220086023

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Abstract

The preparation of a long or a short history of medicine is an undertaking of considerable magnitude. Poynter, of the Wellcome Historical Medical Library, and Keele, President of the Section of History of Medicine of the Royal Society of Medicine, have collaborated in the preparation of this excellent volume. It is one in a series devoted to science in society, which has been designed to interrelate the humanities and the sciences. Familiar physicians of the past —Hippocrates, Galen, Vesalius, Harvey, da Vinci, Boyle, Sydenham, and others— are discussed in considerable detail for such a brief treatise. Until the 17th century it was possible for a physiciansurgeon to be, in addition, an anatomist and botanist, even a mathematician and a philosopher. The accumulation of encyclopedic knowledge by one person became impossible thereafter, and, in recent centuries, concentration of interest has been inevitable.

Not usually given much attention in a history of

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