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July 31, 1937


JAMA. 1937;109(5):323-325. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780310001001

It is rightly said that he who would attempt to foretell the future is either foolhardy or an ignoramus: foolhardy because he lays himself open to future exposure of his fallibility; an ignorant person because it is obvious that he has no knowledge of the past and what has gone before. If this is true with regard to forecasting social, economic, militaristic, political or professional events and trends, how emphatically true it is in reference to any attempt to foretell what may take place in economic or scientific medicine in the approaching distance.

In the field of medicine, small and seemingly inconsequential discoveries or observations have effected totally unexpected changes in the science and practice of the profession. These developments brought about profound alterations in subsequent medical practice which the prophet of the day most assuredly could not, or would not, have appreciated. Striking examples might be cited. When Auenbrugger

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