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April 29, 1939

The Medical Dictator and Other Biographical Studies

JAMA. 1939;112(17):1756-1757. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800170102036

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The author of this book is listed as former statistician to the Lister Institute, chairman of the statistical committee of the Medical Research Council, president of the Royal Statistical Society and professor of epidemiology and vital statistics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Naturally he has made the acquaintance of "men long dead and largely forgotten whose work has influenced the studies" he pursues, and he has inquired into what sort of people some of these dead investigators were. The subjects of his present inquiry are Galen, John Freind, "Heart" Latham, William Farr, Pierre Charles Alexandre Louis, Osler, and Arthur William Bacot. "Medical dictator" is an appellation which he may rightly bestow on Galen but which seems inappropriate to some, if not all, of the other personalities. Thirty-four pages of biography and criticism of an ancient whose system was based on the doctrine that all diseases depend

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