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August 21, 1926


JAMA. 1926;87(8):539-542. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02680080005002

There is an old saying that interest does not bind men together: interest separates men; there is only one thing that can effectively bind people, and that is a common devotion. This, a common devotion, more than any other possible influence, serves to overcome the self-depravities and conceits inherent in us which, uncontrolled, represent the chief defect in our natures. Our loyalties, to be sure—loyalty to nation, to a cause, to community, to school, to family, to friend—are somewhat akin, yet there may be something of personal interest, prejudice or defense in these particular reactions which makes them not wholly unselfish.

So let us believe, for our present purposes at least, that "devotion" not only implies a higher standard of self-effacement but still carries something of its quondam religious significance. And it is of the doctor's consecration to his task that I wish to speak, the kind of unselfish relation