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July 8, 1939

Current Comment

JAMA. 1939;113(2):148. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800270048013

AS OTHERS SEE US  In the concluding chapter of a "diary" entitled "American Journey" by Mr. W. H. Ogilvie,1 surgeon of Guy's Hospital, London, several comments on the American scene deserve attention. The factors that favor good surgical work in America are self evident, Ogilvie says (and include courageousness, independence, self sufficiency, distrust of tradition, pioneering and ability to make quick decisions); but he also notes two adverse factors. One of these is the remarkable lack of individuality in instruments. The tendency of this country is to mass production, and mass production gives everybody goods of admirable finish and appearance and of remarkable quality for the price, but it militates against personal adaptation and fine workmanship. The second adverse factor Ogilvie hesitantly refers to as the "Halsted tradition." The followers of this tradition in the United States "are carrying out the technic of 1910 with all the reverence and attention