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Article
February 8, 1913

CONSERVATISM IN SURGERY

Author Affiliations

Surgeon, Germantown Hospital: Assistant Surgeon, German and University Hospitals PHILADELPHIA

JAMA. 1913;60(6):423-427. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04340060015007
Abstract

Vis medicatrix naturae! The great underlying factor in all of the many advances in medicine and surgery that the world has witnessed during the past fifty years is the healing power of Nature. Without this wonderful power, many of the results of our attempts to relieve humanity of the numerous lesions to which the flesh is heir would be appalling; even with this aid many of them are distressing.

If we could fathom the wonders of Nature as exemplified in her power to construct, maintain and reconstruct, to eliminate harmful products, to cure disease, our task of aiding the sick and afflicted would be greatly simplified. Nature, alone, until the most recent times, has effected a cure in most diseases; the physician and surgeon have but aided in conserving the strength of the individual until Nature's work has been accomplished. To-day, by taking advantage of the slight knowledge he has

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