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August 24, 1984

The Corner Drugstore

Author Affiliations

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

JAMA. 1984;252(8):1015. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350080019018

The day of the "corner drugstore" is past. In some ways that's too bad. The drugstore was a pleasant place to visit. The graceful glass containers filled with red, green, and lavender liquid gave promise of the mysterious syrups and elixirs that were dispensed. As we entered yesterday's apothecary, our noses were greeted with indescribable aromas, medicinal and therefore curative. The friendly druggist, known to the townspeople as "Doc," was always ready to dispense pills, potions, and kindly advice.

Old Doc had an air of mystery about him. He was able to decipher your physician's Latin scrawl, which he would study intently. Then he'd nod his head knowingly and retire to his inner sanctum to concoct the lifesaving medicament. If we chose to wait while the druggist worked his legerdemain, we would hear a scraping sound as pestle greeted mortar, or the gurgle of liquid as it was decanted into