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JAMA 100 Years Ago
October 21, 1998


Author Affiliations

Edited by Brian P. Pace, MA, and Jennifer Reiling, Editorial Assistant

JAMA. 1998;280(15):1304M. doi:10.1001/jama.280.15.1304

It is so easy to prophesy evil, and easier still to believe it. From the days of Jonah and Jeremiah to those of Mother Shipton and the Millerites, men have been fatuously ready to believe the future big with portents of disaster. We appear to be morally certain of only two things: one that the world is, the other that it is soon coming to an end. We can not refuse to admit that the past has been triumphant, and the present fairly satisfactory, but the future! The "signs of the times," whether religious, political or professional, are invariably baleful, and we can not help believing that a little of this pessimism is tingeing the vision of the prophets within our own ranks, in respect to the future outlook of our profession.