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October 6, 1906


JAMA. 1906;XLVII(14):1104. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.02520140040014

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In the last number of the American Magazine is an article on popular medical fallacies by Dr. L. K. Hirshberg which, while rather nihilistic in tone, is, on the whole, commendable. A number of popularly accepted propositions with regard to medical matters are directly contradicted. Virchow used to say that all of the medical fallacies accepted generally by the people have been at one time doctrines recognized by physicians. Undoubtedly many of the present-day popular medical fallacies even yet are accepted by certain physicians, and it is this that helps to keep them alive. For instance, there are still physicians who say that boils are always a manifestation of a blood disease. While it is true that a rundown condition will predispose to the appearance of boils, these are practically always due to infection from without. It is suggested that men suffer more from boils on the neck than do

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