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October 12, 1940

American Doctors of Destiny: A Collection of Historical Narratives of the Lives of Great American Physicians and Surgeons Whose Service to the Nation and to the World Has Transcended the Scope of Their Profession

JAMA. 1940;115(15):1301. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810410067036

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This is a collection of biographic sketches of twenty doctors who, the author believes, are destined for the American Hall of Fame. One should not be too critical of his choice of candidates for this honor, for no two physicians would agree as to who should be selected or even on what basis the selection should be made. But really the group is a motley one. One finds many of the old stand-bys: Benjamin Rush, Ephraim McDowell, Daniel Drake, W. T. G. Morton, Walter Reed and General Gorgas. There are several new ones who are less widely known. The claim for the inclusion of some of these is that they selected, or had thrust upon them, some job—at times a political one—and did the job well. This is, of course, praiseworthy. But, without mentioning names, not all of these are of national caliber. And, as the reviewer looks at it,

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