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May 14, 1960


Author Affiliations

New York

From Teachers College, Columbia University.

JAMA. 1960;173(2):167-171. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.73020200005011

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I wish to propose four assumptions to be used as a "platform" for further discussion of the problems selected for our conference deliberations. It is for those more closely affiliated with the medical profession to consider whether these assumptions have validity in the present state of medical developments.

Sociological Assumptions Concerning Modern Medicine  First, modern scientific medicine, with its storehouse of knowledge and skills, is already able to make new and outstanding contributions to the contemporary problems of both physical and mental health. Amazing therapeutic potentialities appear to be available or in the offing.Second, modern scientific medicine confronts a substantial resistance to the full and forthright practice of its therapeutic potential. Resistance ranges from apathy to opposition—parlty overt, partly hidden, sometimes conscious and sometimes unconscious on the part of recipients of some medical service. The medical practitioner is rarely permitted by society to utilize his knowledge and skills maximally.

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