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September 19, 1942

Behind the Mask of Medicine

JAMA. 1942;120(3):246. doi:10.1001/jama.1942.02830380078039

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The unfortunate title of this book seems to indicate that it will reveal much that has been concealed, yet it really does nothing of the sort. Indeed there has been so much written and spoken and otherwise displayed about medicine in recent years that many a layman seems to know more about what goes on than do the doctors themselves. Dr. Atkinson with excellent literary ability discusses new advances in relationship to therapy, diagnosis, prognosis and other aspects of medical care. If any of his chapters approach revelations it is the one on excesses in surgery, yet every one knows that surgery has become much less difficult as the result of modern anesthesia and standardization and that, therefore, the tendency toward surgery is a little greater than it used to be. If one wished to quarrel with the author, one might select for the purpose the chapter on "Practice, Ethical

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