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September 27, 1947

History of Medical Thought: An Essay

JAMA. 1947;135(4):258. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02890040060035

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An apparent expansion of interest in the history of medicine may be the result of several factors. As has been evident in the past, periods of disturbance and uncertainty have not infrequently been associated with an awakened interest in the field of medical history—possibly as a mental refuge, possibly in the endeavor to understand the present in the framework of the past. Leonardo's essay on the history of medical thought is an illustration of this tendency. The title is well chosen, for the seven chapters give a succinct, well ordered and very readable survey of the mental approach of the physician to the clinical problem of disease during the centuries that have passed since Hippocrates. The author does not attempt a history of medicine and so the young student who wants to know the details of the development of the art and science of medicine will not be satisfied; but

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