January 1971

Social Issues and Scientific Medicine

Arch Intern Med. 1971;127(1):157. doi:10.1001/archinte.1971.00310130161029

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This special symposium issue of the Archives, which deals with the many social issues that confront medicine, throws into sharp relief the problem of balancing science and social awareness in the exercise of medical care. If one was a complete stranger to the pages of this journal and was to read this section alone, it would not be far fetched to come away believing that internal medicine was a discipline belonging to either sociology, political science, or educational engineering. The fact that the actual intrinsic event which is specifically characteristic of internal medicine—the provision of scientifically based medical care to a distressed human being—is not projected in this symposium would leave the first-time reader bewildered as to why the name "Internal Medicine." Similarly, if one were to read the rest of this issue which was designed in the traditional manner so as to focus sharply on the science of clinical

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