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April 24, 1897

Medical Instruction of the Laity in the Lay Press.

JAMA. 1897;XXVIII(17):808. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440170042012

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Galesburg, Ill., April 13, 1897.

To the Editor:  —It is certainly unwise for physicians to attempt professional instruction of the laity in the lay press by means of signed articles. In the first place, such articles blur the distinctions between their writers and advertising charlatans; in the second place, the tendency in such articles is to say the brilliant rather than the true.Yet, after all, should not the laity be instructed medically in the lay press? By all means. The instruction in physiology and hygiene presented in the common schools is distinctly inadequate and is, moreover, imparted to the learner at a time of his life when he can not by any possibility correctly estimate its importance and therefore the necessity of remembering it far on into later years. Besides, in the common schools practically nothing is said of disease. It might be urged that the less the laity

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