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February 1, 1908


JAMA. 1908;L(5):368-369. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.02530310044006

The entire difficulty that has sprung up about what would seem to be one of the simplest of questions arises, as.almost all such difficulties do arise, from a lack of attention to the history of the thing, as exemplified in the etymology of the name by which it is known.

There is undoubtedly a widespread idea that the "practice of medicine" derives its name from the custom of administering so-called "medicines." On more than one occasion this idea has found direct expression, or has been sustained by implication, by persons intelligent and learned enough to occupy judicial positions. This view is well exemplified in a passage quoted by an exchange1 from a New York daily paper. The latter, speaking of the remarkable feat of Edward Payson Weston, in walking, at the age of 69, from Portland, Me., to Chicago, in less than a month, says: "But the old man's

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