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October 12, 1901


JAMA. 1901;XXXVII(15):983. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.02470410035010

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The field of medical practice has grown so large that no ordinary person can successfully traverse it all. Specialization is thus the result of a naturally evolutionary process, tending to greater refinement and precision in knowledge, as well as in diagnosis andin treatment. To be a specialist of the highest type, however, one must have a broad and deep foundation in general knowledge. This, however, does not imply that a tendency to specialization should not be encouraged early, providing this is not done too exclusively or to the detriment of general training. The view of the specialist should be not less broad than that of the generalist, the only excuse for the existence of the former arising from the fact that in addition to his general knowledge and ability he possess some special knowledge and ability. If, therefore, the medical student, by means of personal preference, personal endowment, or personal

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