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January 17, 1948


JAMA. 1948;136(3):179. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890200033012

For fifty years deans of medical schools and speakers before graduating medical classes have stressed the never to be forgotten importance of practicing the art as well as the science of medicine. The art of medicine, they said frequently, was not taught in medical schools but gained only after long experience in practice. Knowledge of its application came only with intimate, personal knowledge of the patient and of his family background and situation in life. Because of the numerous advances in the science of medicine greatest interest was directed toward learning specific details. Both the teaching and learning processes tend to follow more easily channels of scientific fact wherein definite questions may be posed and answered rather than the abstractions of philosophy. The art of medicine has become more a historical expression than a living diagnostic and therapeutic concept.

Patients too frequently become case numbers; they are recorded as well