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September 6, 1924


JAMA. 1924;83(10):769-770. doi:10.1001/jama.1924.02660100043016

Amid the rapid changes that spell the progress of our day, we tend to lose enthusiasm for the novelties that are invading modern life in astonishingly quick succession. Civilized man has become blasé. He has come to expect new discoveries and novel inventions at every turn; and, surfeited by their actual production, he reacts with surprise or gratitude only when some exceptional contribution is made. He is prone to forget the dramatic chapters of medicine that have included the evolution of anesthesia and antisepsis with the consequent development of transfusion and reconstructive surgery, almost within the memory of the living. And the routine care of the sick is today taken for granted; it has become a part of everyday experience that scarcely ever calls for special commendation.

Contrast often serves to awaken us to a more adequate realization of the transformations that have come into the life of our generation.

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