December 1965

Small Talk in the Caravan

Author Affiliations

Calgary Associated Clinic Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Arch Intern Med. 1965;116(6):944-948. doi:10.1001/archinte.1965.03870060142029

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I SUPPOSE that it is one of the functions of these columns to provide a coda to the concerted themes that have been developed in the preceding pages of each issue. The coda in music is a short section which stands at the end of a composition to round it off, to provide it with graceful finality. This is always difficult, particularly when the score is written by so many hands and the connecting links are not always obvious. It can probably be best accomplished by the scribe acting as a sort of sorcerer's apprentice, conjuring up some of the larger aspects of medicine, sounding some universal notes, and stressing the general rather than the particular.

One of the best means of accomplishing these ends is through the medium of history. History is a way of escaping into time, of fitting our own brief lives into the larger scheme of

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