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November 8, 1941

Lachende Medizin

JAMA. 1941;117(19):1659. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820450083039

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The title of the book means "Laughing Medicine," but the reviewer did not even smile once while perusing it. No doubt the medical profession offers the humorist much material. Many of the best satirical poems about physicians were written by physicians, e. g. Oliver Wendell Holmes and Kussmaul. In order to make people laugh at a group of persons or a human institution, it is not sufficient, however, to bring platitudes into verses; one must have some gift of humor or irony. It is not humorous in itself to say that a "badearzt" (physician in a spa) likes to earn money and longingly waits for the summer guests. And a whole poem about specialists, as written in this book, says much less than the famous definition "A specialist is a man who knows more and more about less and less." From a purely literary point of view, the verses are

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