Original Article
April 1957

Medical Research: A Midcentury Survey

Author Affiliations



(Vol. 1, American Medical Research in Principle and Practice; Vol. 2, Unsolved Clinical Problems in Biological Perspective). By the American Foundation; Member-in-Charge, Esther Everett Lape; Committee of Consultants: Walter Bauer, George H. Bishop, Austin M. Brues, George W. Corner, René J. Dubos, C. A. Elvehjem, Louis F. Fieser, Thomas Francis Jr., Ralph W. Gerard, Michael Heidelberger, William G. Lennox, Esmond R. Long, William S. McCann, Thomas Parran, Linus C. Pauling, John P. Peters, I. S. Ravdin, Francis O. Schmitt, Truman G. Schnabel, W. M. Stanley, DeWitt Stetten Jr., E. L. Tatum, Stafford L. Warren, Paul A. Weiss, M. C. Winternitz, and John B. Youmans. Price, $15 for two-volume set. Little, Brown & Company, 34 Beacon St., Boston 6, 1955.

AMA Arch Surg. 1957;74(4):631-634. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1957.01280100149026

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The Surgeon's Stake in Basic Research  The American Foundation's "Medical Research: A Midcentury Survey" develops, throughout what the London Lancet describes as "two fascinating volumes," the thesis that progress in clinical medicine depends upon continual basic research in laboratories of biology, chemistry, physics, and atomic energy. This message is addressed as directly to the surgeon as to the internist. The survey reflects a realization (which some of us have long been stressing) that the amazing development of modern surgery is due less to increasingly ingenious techniques and increased dexterity on the part of the surgeon than to surgery's increased concern with normal physiologic and metabolic mechanisms and derangement of these mechanisms under the assault of disease and of operative trauma.Not that the ingenious techniques are to be lightly rated; in cardiac and pulmonary surgery, for instance, ingenuity has gone very far in clearing the operative field by devising mechanical

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