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JAMA 100 Years Ago
May 3, 2000

Medicine as an Art.

Author Affiliations
 

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Editorial Assistant.

JAMA. 2000;283(17):2214. doi:10.1001/jama.283.17.2214

PHILADELPHIA, April 9, 1900.

To the Editor: If we take from the medicine of to-day that which is art, we will leave, surely, not more than one-half to the scientists pure and simple—a class that would perhaps be more aptly designated as materialists. When the old-time writers styled their works on physic, "The Art and Science of Medicine," they gave unmistakable evidence of their appreciation of this quality in medicine. With them healing was more than a science to be learned from books. Indeed, it comprehended so much more that was not to be found anywhere in books that great minds in medicine were earnestly sought after as preceptors. The relations between master and pupil were very like those that bound together master and pupil in all the other realms of art. With the passing of the preceptor there has gone out from among us a something that our present-day system seems not yet to have made good. Have we gained or lost? Who shall say?

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