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May 22, 1937


JAMA. 1937;108(21):1781-1783. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780210021006

Since the turn of the century the practice of medicine has become more and more a highly specialized profession. While the vast majority of physicians are still general practitioners, an ever increasing number of them are devoting their time, attention and skill to some highly specialized phase of medical practice. It is undoubtedly this extreme specialization that has stimulated the advances in medicine as they are known today.

Extreme specialization, however, is easily conducive to narrow medical thinking. It is a simple thing for one who practices a very limited field of medicine to direct his thoughts and mental processes only in that certain field of medicine and to neglect, either consciously or unconsciously, the other phases of medicine as well as the patient as a unit. While there is a very definite and necessary as well as useful place in medicine for specialization, the dangers associated with this must

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