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May 30, 1903


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1903;XL(22):1477-1487. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.92490220001001

I have been struck by the fact that the majority of great medical discoveries, truths and instruments, have not been made completely and suddenly, but have been led up to by preliminary and progressive steps, and that the layman has so often made these discoveries prior to the medical practitioner. This great medical truth is, indeed, but an illustration of the general law that all professional progress, in whatever branch of study, is somehow or other a result of stimulus from without. There is so much interest, and there are so many lessons to be drawn from such observations in medical history, that I have in late years kept minutes of this class of truths, from which I make the following selections:

When we commence observation of the origins of medical discovery and treatment, we are struck by the fact that "our brothers the animals" were first in learning not

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