JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer
Reiling, Assistant Editor.
We called attention some months ago1 to the emptiness of
the excuse given by a class of busy practitioners for their failure to interest
themselves in what concerns the general good of the medical profession, such
as society work, medical legislation and the like. They are, forsooth, too
busy with their practice. For such men, as well as for the busy physician
who faithfully tries to fulfill his duties to the profession and feels all
the responsibilities of his professional work, a reference to some things
that have been accomplished for clinical medicine by physicians in active
practice may prove an inspiration. The "busy" man is apt to think that he
should be exempt from the obligation of trying to extend the bounds of medical
knowledge. His occupation, he may claim, is a practical application of the
discoveries of others. Active practice absorbs so much energy and time as
to leave none for anything beyond his patients and their immediate needs,
and certainly no opportunity for original work. It used to be the excuse of
the medical college professor that he had to devote so much time to teaching
and practice that he could not be expected to do any investigating. Now it
is recognized that only he can teach well who is himself doing original work.
THE BUSY PRACTITIONER AND HIS OPPORTUNITIES. JAMA. 2003;289(11):1448. doi:10.1001/jama.289.11.1448
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