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Article
February 26, 1910

THE EVER-LENGTHENING CHAIN OF MEDICAL LITERATURE

JAMA. 1910;LIV(9):676-679. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.92550350001001b
Abstract

A man attempting to carry a chain to which new links were being continually added would, in time, find himself fastened to a certain spot by the accumulation, his movements restricted to a circle, the size of which would be determined by the number of links his particular physical development would enable him to lift and carry. No matter how much the chain might be lengthened, the space over which he could move would be in no way extended. The added links would only serve to fasten him more securely to the spot. Medical literature is such an ever-lengthening chain. Hippocrates could arrange and join together all the existing links. Galen could lift and polish and use the whole of it. The schoolmen of the middle ages might count its links, and be somewhat acquainted with them all. But their attempt to carry the whole—the paralysis

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