Generally speaking, the rôle given to medicine and the medical profession, in contemporary literature and the drama, is neither fairly representative of the former nor flattering to the latter. The weakness and failures of medicine are thrown into relief, the foibles and occasional incompetence of the physician are exaggerated and caricatured. The great services rendered by medicine and the medical profession to humanity are overlooked, and the magnitude and complexity of the problems, mental, moral and economic, with which physicians have to contend, are ignored or ridiculed or, even worse, depreciatingly misconstrued.
Under these circumstances it is gratifying to read in a popular magazine1 a story that is commented on by a correspondent elsewhere in this issue of The Journal. The story, by Churchill Williams, is entitled "The Edge of Circumstance," and its purport is to depict the struggles and temptations that enable a proprietary medicine concern to enmesh
THE PUBLIC REALIZATION OF THE NOSTRUM EVIL.. JAMA. 1907;XLIX(25):2090. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.02530250042007