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December 20, 1941

William Henry Welch and the Heroic Age of American Medicine

JAMA. 1941;117(25):2200-2201. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820510088042

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Here is a volume that has long been awaited by the medical profession, since it recapitulates the story of a great leader in the advancement of medical science and since the story is told by a distinguished pupil. Perhaps a single authorship would have made this a better book than it is, because its one failing seems to be the unevenness of the various chapters in their treatment of their subjects. Thus some of the chapters are highly scientific and profuse with technical terms; others have the same charming simplicity that characterized the book by James Flexner called "Doctors on Horseback." If there is any other fault of the volume it lies in its failure to recognize the human attributes of Dr. Welch which made it quite possible for him occasionally to fail in his objectives and which made it also possible that he might occasionally pursue an objective to

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