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April 1962


Arch Intern Med. 1962;109(4):497. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620160123026

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Honest teachers of medicine admit from time to time that they are far too often bewildered and confounded by the problem of pain. This, the most important of all symptoms, is the most difficult to comprehend. It remains the major clinical problem which defies satisfactory isolation and reduction to those certitudes which give physicians an ample feeling of repose and contentment. Noordenbos takes the extraordinary clinical difficulties of pain as axiomatic and proceeds from that point. The great virtue of his work, in so far as I understand it, is that he challenges the discrepancies between serious philosophic constructs which have dominated clinical ideas about pain and the physical machinery of the nervous system needed to transmit and react to stimuli and impulses. He does not make the mistake that so many speculators in the great realm of pain have made of allowing his enthusiasm for this, that, or the

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