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August 5, 1922


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1922;79(6):424-428. doi:10.1001/jama.1922.02640060006003

The minimum requirements for a career in medicine are a preliminary education, four years in a medical school, and a license to practice. While these requirements are indispensable, they are by no means sufficient. Three higher attributes stand out as real elements that make for a successful physician; without these, real success in medicine is impossible: brains, culture and character.

BRAINS  Brains are the alpha and omega of the man of medicine. We all recall the artist who, when asked what he mixed his paints with, replied: "With brains, sir." Not long ago when I was on the way to talk to college students on medicine as a profession, the wife of one of the faculty said: "Tell them that the one thing they ought to have is brains." She had made my speech. To begin the study of medicine without two good cerebral hemispheres thickly covered with a deep

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