August 3, 1895


JAMA. 1895;XXV(5):207-208. doi:10.1001/jama.1895.02430310035008

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It is at once an advantage and also practically a disadvantage to medicine that in its widest sense it embraces a greater compass of sciences than almost any other human occupation or profession. The physician should be a man of broad general culture —that is, the ideal physician should be such—as well as of minute and accurate knowledge, and the difficulty of the combination is found in the necessary limitations of the human intellect. This difficulty increases with the years and the result is an evergrowing tendency to specialism in the cities, and a greater dependence of the general practitioner upon the specialist in every line. The latter, on the other hand, unless he be a neurologist, who ought at least to be, in his way, a sort of "glorified general practitioner," is liable to become narrow in his medical ideas with the narrowing of his field and to give

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