Tradition is potent in medical practice, as in other fields of human activity. We cling to the old so long as it is not positively harmful. Bloodletting as a routine procedure was as reluctantly abandoned as was the use of the magical rod. Likewise many remnants of the materia medica of bygone days are retained as a supposedly precious heritage, although the justification for their application in therapy would put a severe strain on the scientific logic of devotees. Rational therapy must be justified by demonstrable clinical results. This does not mean that drugs and pharmaceutical products are necessarily of limited value because the secret of their beneficial effects has not been unraveled by the scientific investigator. Science may be late in furnishing an explanation of unquestionable potency in long used agents.
Our criticism is leveled at those types of pseudotherapy which retain procedures and products that may placate the
THE MEDICAL CURRICULUM, THE LABORATORY AND MEDICAL PRACTICE. JAMA. 1919;73(23):1772–1773. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610490036019
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