This attempt to formulate the proper place of mercury and salvarsan in the treatment of syphilis must be recognized as presenting the view of the clinic rather than that of the laboratory.
It is an evident fact that the natural history of a disease must be known before the effects of such disturbing elements as drugs can be properly understood.
In the study of the therapeutics of syphilis there are certain facts in the natural history of the disease which must be kept in mind. Syphilis owes its existence to a microorganism which penetrates the body at some point in the external surface and then by the lymph- and blood-vessels spreads through the entire organism and may show itself sooner or later in any part of the body. The disease has the peculiarity of appearing locally at some point after years of quiescence. Treatment is apparently successful for many years
POST A. THE PROPER PLACES OF MERCURY AND SALVARSAN IN THE TREATMENT OF SYPHILIS. JAMA. 1912;LIX(14):1240–1243. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270100010004