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March 1970

Good Scientific Writing

Author Affiliations

Department of the Medical Library and of Publications Mayo Foundation Rochester, Minn

Arch Intern Med. 1970;125(3):405-406. doi:10.1001/archinte.1970.00310030009001

Once Upon a Time

My first chief, Wickliffe Rose, who in 1913 organized the International Health Commission of the Rockefeller Foundation, was impressive in action and endowed with extraordinary vision and courage, but he was modest and self-effacing in his public relations, and disliked predictions. The sanguine neophytes on his staff, with all the confidence of youth and inexperience, never doubted their ability to conquer yellow fever, suppress malaria, and purge the entire "wormy world." But Rose was prudent. "We are only safe," he would admonish them, "in talking about the past." Rose was forgetting that these young doctors fresh from medical school had no past; they had nothing to talk or think about but the future. I was one of those youths, among the first to be appointed to the staff of the International Health Commission, and since that fateful conversation with Mr. Rose in April, 1914, I have

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