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December 1966

Royal Society of Medicine: The Realization of an Ideal, 1805-1955.

Arch Intern Med. 1966;118(6):611. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.00290180087018

Man's institutions often reflect in an illuminating way the interrelations between the well-recognized emotional and intellectual drives of man, the social animal, and the customs of a particular time. In fact, institutions are caused by and cause change which some have called progress. Institutions are history's way of doing things. Institutions have a way of surviving adolescence and reaching a longer or shorter plateau of maturity. Eventually they decline. Sometimes they are destroyed. Some are assimilated or combine with others. The carefully recorded and perceptively related histories of medical societies give an unique view of a corporate expression of society and of medicine which may throw floods of light on matters which have either been mysterious or obscure, and perhaps some not even recognized. The institutions of a society reflect its state of corporate health or illness. The degree to which a society is able to manage its institutions, without

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