Years ago, Lee1 concluded a series of lectures on modern medicine with the cogent reminder that the ideals of the profession are so high that it can be trusted to do what is in its power to put an end to the ills of suffering humanity. Yet it should be borne in mind, he added, that scientific medicine unaided has a well-nigh impossible work before it. If it is to accomplish the final banishment of disease, it must have the sympathetic cooperation and encouragement of mankind, in whose interests it continually labors.
One way to secure a sympathetic attitude is to point to actual accomplishment in the field of public health. This often serves with almost equal success to inspire the physician himself and to give him renewed confidence in the effectiveness of his endeavors. The fact that there is no "iron law of mortality" is beginning to be
A HEALTH RECORD FOR 1932. JAMA. 1933;100(4):261. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740040029014