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August 27, 1927

Social Factors in Medical Progress.

JAMA. 1927;89(9):715. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690090065035

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This is a study of the factors that obstruct the progress of culture. The author says in his introduction, "Sociologists have recently been investigating the nature of the behavior of culture during the process of change." In this particular study medicine "was chosen for such an inquiry because, in measuring the value of an innovation, the subjective factor can be eliminated to a greater degree than when dealing with the subject matter of politics, religion, art or economics." This suggests an interesting inquiry. In the first chapter there is a good analysis of the factors that interfere with intellectual progress, not only in medicine, but in culture generally. Then he proceeds in the succeeding chapters to illustrate these various obstructive features by the history of medicine. These subsequent chapters cannot be said to be equally interesting. They are an analysis of factors that are generally assumed by intelligent men as

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