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January 3, 1920


JAMA. 1920;74(1):35. doi:10.1001/jama.1920.02620010041017

Teachers of technical subjects naturally fall into one of two groups: first, the type whose interests lie mainly in the philosophic aspects of the subject taught, and second, the type who think of problems in terms of the individual. As Addis1 has recently pointed out, this is true of clinical medicine, and it is equally true of clinical surgery or of any other clinical subject. Some clinicians who are mainly interested in underlying principles may be described as the investigative type. Others who are chiefly interested in the problem of the individual patient may be regarded as the practical type.

Quite frequently it has been assumed, particularly by the general practitioner and by the man on the street, that the two types are antagonistic, and this assumption is not without some basis in fact. It is doubtless true that the person with the investigative type of mind dislikes to

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