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JAMA 100 Years Ago
February 18, 2009

THE MEDICAL SOCIETY AND THE MEDICAL MEN OF ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO

JAMA. 2009;301(7):783. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.108

LOUIS W. FLANDERS, M.D.

That medicine is an all-absorbing profession is a trite saying. If we were to bring two doctors into this room, the one from the coast of Maine, the other from the coast of California, the chances are more than even that they would be talking medicine within ten minutes. The one would brag a bit over a cure he had effected when recovery seemed impossible, and when even Dame Nature herself was wringing her hands in despair; the other would shake his head gravely over the mistaken diagnosis of a brother practitioner, a diagnosis that should have been plain as the nose on one's face, and which was instantly made by the narrator when called in consultation. These little preliminaries settled, both would begin to discuss cases in which the patients obstinately refused to be cured in spite of diagnostic skill or scientific treatment.

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