Many of the older remedies need a vigorous scientific reconsideration from the newer vantage grounds afforded by modern laboratory methods. Certain physical and chemical properties of mercury and its salts, if properly studied in connection with the vast mass of undigested clinical knowledge accumulated during centuries, enable the mercurial group to be singled out as having peculiarities that separate it completely from all other remedies, including those with other metallic bases.
Chemistry and physics are woefully neglected sciences in even the best medical schools, and to this fact is attributable the empiricism of our therapeutic work, and whosoever is equipped with physical and chemical knowledge before becoming a physician will find himself unintelligible to the vast mass of his confrères in an endeavor to utilize those fundamental branches in connection with physiology, pathology and therapeutics. The chemistry of materia medica is left to the manufacturing pharmacist, though it is closely
CLEVENGER SV. THE MERCURIALS.. JAMA. 1896;XXVI(8):361-366. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430600013002c