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May 28, 1927

THE SPECIALIST: WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH HIM?

Author Affiliations

Director, Mount Sinai Hospital NEW YORK

JAMA. 1927;88(22):1691-1693. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680480001001

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Abstract

The specialist is at once the hope and the despair of modern medicine. That he has contributed much to medical progress is generally acknowledged, and there is at least a reasonable probability that his scientific contributions will continue. Let us hope, at all events, that they will.

In everyday practice, the specialist's knowledge is often indispensable to a correct understanding of obscure diseases, his skill a necessary means to the restoration of bodily function or the saving of life. His successes, often impressively dramatic and hence widely advertised, have won for him an astonishing influence. Strange diseases are made fashionable by his simple ukase, only to be banished from society when new favorites win his approval. The specialist is the prop of debilitated men, the idol of neurotic women, the restorer of undernourished children. He is admired for his industry, and is sometimes envied for his wealth. But with every

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