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JAMA 100 Years Ago
October 6, 2010

VALUE OF VITAL STATISTICS TO MEDICAL SCIENCE

JAMA. 2010;304(13):1503. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1294

Medical science, like all other sciences, must, for its development, have coordination of the facts, and numerical expression must be given. In the numerical relations of recoveries to deaths, in the numerical relations of the destructiveness of the various diseases, in the numerical relation of diseases and deaths compared with various age periods, in the numerical relations of sex, nationality, social condition and occupations and employments, scientific medicine finds much valuable material for her advancement. All of these relations and also other facts are supplied by vital statistics. Every true physician is in love with his profession; he would have it make all advancement possible and will always lend his aid and services to such end. It follows then, that for the science he has adopted for his life work, if not in the service of his patients and if not in the service of society, he will gladly and eagerly contribute his part to vital statistics. . . . 

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