For surgery, pathologic anatomy has furnished a basis for both diagnosis and treatment. The tumor or foreign body can be taken out, the inflamed part incised or removed, the obstructed passage dilated or the hollow viscus drained. For internal medicine, pathologic anatomy has been equally important as a fundamental basis in the diagnosis of disease; and it has furnished an exact demonstrable basis for many symptom-complexes. So far as treatment is concerned, however, its direct value is far less evident, for pathologic changes in structure are but rarely influenced by medicine. The clinician schooled in pathologic anatomy is therefore apt to be led into a position of therapeutic nihilism, placing his reliance chiefly on the curative forces of Nature which are to be assisted here and there by medical care and by nursing. This attitude, which was prominent in certain clinical schools during the last century, found its expression in
HEWLETT AW. THE RELATION OF PATHOLOGIC PHYSIOLOGY TO INTERNAL MEDICINE. JAMA. 1913;61(18):1583–1586. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04350190001001
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