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January 17, 1903


JAMA. 1903;XL(3):175-176. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.02490030039006

Very few of us probably ever really give any very serious thought to what constitutes the difference between the professions as such and the other means of getting a livelihood. That there is a certain social distinction made we are all aware, but it might puzzle some of us to give an adequate accounting for its existence. This distinction is not in externals, though they have their effect. Perhaps most of us would first assume that it is based on the educational culture that the professions are supposed to require of their members. This has also, beyond question, its influence in creating the popular distinction, but it alone does not account for it altogether. We have had learned blacksmiths, stonemasons and shoemakers, but no one included them among professional men so long as they followed their occupation. Mere learning does not inspire popular respect to more than a very limited

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