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April 17, 1926


JAMA. 1926;86(16):1216. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02670420040014

In the course of the current popular pastime of subjecting medicine to criticism from every conceivable angle, it has sometimes been intimated that the twentieth century physician is endeavoring to become a biophysicist and a biochemist rather than a clinician. Generalization of any sort is a venturesome procedure, particularly when it fails to rise above the haphazard method of jumping at conclusions. When a student of the present generation is reminded of "the golden age of bedside diagnosis" in which the unaided organs of sight, sound and touch were trained to remarkable accomplishment, he sometimes wonders whether, after all, the armamentarium of instruments of precision and the cyclopedia of test reactions that he has acquired in the course of his modern training are to be a handicap rather than a help. He reads the admonition of the late Sir James Mackenzie,1 who, while far from decrying the importance of