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January 3, 1920


Author Affiliations

Washington, D. C.

President, American Genetic Association

JAMA. 1920;74(1):48. doi:10.1001/jama.1920.02620010054029

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To the Editor:  —"Given an incorrect diagnosis and you can cure any disease" is, I believe, a current saying in the profession. It seems to draw attention to one of the most striking spectacles of modern times—the expanding field of knowledge which the physician is drawing on for his diagnosis. The day is gone by when a look at the tongue and a count of the pulse and a few words with the patient are enough. The modern physician has come to realize that his patient is more than the product of a few years of growth; that he is, in fact, a combination of human stocks with hereditary tendencies.What diseases are coupled with the hereditary traits? Which are independent of them? How allay the unwarranted phantoms of "hereditary diseases" in nervous patients? How can we distinguish the hereditary tendencies from phenomena of nutrition? These have come to be

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