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The first literary contribution to this volume is the Presidential Address of Dr. Richard J. Levis, on "Traditional Errors of Surgery." Among the traditional errors pointed out are those pertaining to the differentiations of surgical practice called specialism. "The greatest advances in surgical science and art, at the present time, are made through special attention to certain lines of study and practice. This differentiation by specialism is justified by the advance of these lines beyond the possibility of any individual practitioner ever comprehending all that can be known in them." Specialism must be intelligently guarded, however. It is a superstructure that must be built on a substantial generalism. As Virchow has said: " No specialty can flourish which separates itself from the common source of science. The great specialists, whose labors have borne most fruit, and added most to the stock of human knowledge, have been the men with a
Transactions of the Medical Society of the State of Pennsylvania, at the Thirty-ninth Annual Session, held at Philadelphia, June, 1888.. JAMA. 1888;XI(16):573–574. doi:10.1001/jama.1888.02400680033012