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July 14, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXV(2):96-97. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460280032006

Intelligent and successful treatment—prophylactic, curative, paliative—obviously demands a proper knowledge of the causes and the processes of disease. It is imperative, for the judicious application of therapeutic measures, that one be able to discriminate normal from abnormal effects, as well as to appreciate those induced through the intervention of art. It may at times be helpful to aid the natural processes, not less than to check, or to divert them as occasion requires. The last two decades have witnessed a wonderful transformation in our conceptions of pathologic processes, and it will scarcely be contended that we have yet wholly emerged from the obscurity that naturally attends the evolution of a new phase of knowledge. The progress made in this department of medicine has in turn not been without a profound influence on what after all is the ultimate function of the true physician—the preservation of health, the prevention and the

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