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JAMA Revisited
January 13, 2015

The Medicine of the Future

JAMA. 2015;313(2):205. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.11506

Originally Published December 27, 1890 | JAMA. 1890;15(26):921- 923.

Attempts to forecast the future are notoriously involved in much difficulty and uncertainty. The advice of Hosea Biglow: “Don’t never prophesy unless you know,” will always have more or less pertinency. Nevertheless, so long as curiosity continues to be as potent a motive as at present, the effort will probably continue to be made. He would have been a bold man who should have ventured to predict, fifty years ago, the progress that has been made in medical science and art, and it would certainly be unsafe to attempt to say what will not be accomplished in the next fifty or hundred years; but there are certain tendencies, at the present time, which may, perhaps, throw some light on the probable future course of events. If we compare the best specimens of the medical profession of to-day with their predecessors of a century ago, it may enable us to imagine, to some extent, in what way our successors of a century hence will differ from us.