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September 14, 1918


Author Affiliations

Instructor in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Leland Stanford Junior University School of Medicine SAN FRANCISCO

JAMA. 1918;71(11):878-880. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600370016007

During the last decades, rapid progress has been made in all fields of modern medicine. Many a tradition based on the experiences of the fathers had to fall before the logic and research of modern investigators. Nevertheless, there is a tendency to put tradition above new ideas because the valuable experiences of the earlier observers have apparently proved efficacious for one or another period of medicine. Furthermore, the medical student, who has received in his early training didactic teaching which offers many medical traditions in the form of strict rules, becomes so deeply impressed that it seems to him that medical sacrilege is committed if the teachings of his school days are attacked. The modern history of medicine tells of many hard struggles in which medical traditions were attacked for long periods before they were finally abandoned.

One of the best examples of this is the old custom of purging