To the Editor:—This word does not apply to the profession at large (or as a whole). Doubtless there are many physicians who have lost their standing and good name and have ceased to study and improve, but the profession, as a whole, is on gaining ground. Doctors are wiser than ever before. There are more great men in our ranks to-day than ever before, and there are men who know more of medicine than was ever known to physicians of the past. Some of our wisest men undertake to write after their mental powers have begun to weaken, and in this sense may be called “decaydents.” Others through sickness or disease may have lost their balance—but to say the profession is losing ground, and that our predecessors were a long way ahead of us is a mistake.
Some Remarks on Alleged Degeneracy. JAMA. 2015;314(6):630. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.11916