February 1, 1908


JAMA. 1908;L(5):369-370. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.02530310045010

The influence which the habit of prescribing nostrums exerts on the mind of the practitioner is well set forth in a recent article by Dr. John H. Musser.1 As he truly states, the retroactive effect on the prescriber is of the most serious consequence. That state of mind which allows it to be subordinated to the thoughts and conclusions of others leads "silently but surely to a lessening in vigor and virility." Any compromise with mystery, any lapse in the endeavor to comprehend the pathologic conditions, anatomic and physiologic, which confront us and the rational steps to be taken in assisting the damaged organism to regain its equilibrium, are departures from the scientific attitude which alone will lead to success. Such lapses, if allowed to creep in, tend to recur with ever growing frequency, and who of us has not seen the sad result? An almost unavoidable occurrence in

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