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February 24, 2020

The Evolution of Schools of Thought in Medicine: Healthy Tensions

Author Affiliations
  • 1Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
JAMA. 2020;323(11):1035-1036. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.0748

By many measures, it is an unsettled and unsettling time. The medical profession, too, is navigating rapid social changes along with major shifts in the scientific and technological foundations of practice. Of note, medicine as a broad term now often appears with a growing list of qualifiers (eg, evidence-based, molecular, personalized, precision). A brief review of the past century of schools of thought in and about medicine may be informative for 2 reasons: (1) to provide context for an apparent rebirth of medical sectarianism and (2) to enable reflection on some themes that seem unifying and evergreen.

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