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April 14, 1956


JAMA. 1956;160(15):1355. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02960500085024

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To the Editor:—  The speech of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale at the inaugural ceremonies of the American Medical Association, June, 1955, marks another milestone in the progress of psychosomatic medicine. It illustrates how far physicians have come from the materialistic attitude of the 19th century to the present time. No longer is man considered merely a chemical, anatomic, or physiological machine; he is a human being with thoughts and feelings that profoundly influence his body. One of the most important influences that modifies man's behavior is religion, which has to do with faith and love. It has been found that faith in the physician is a powerful force in healing, but even more powerful is faith in God—the source of life and health. Physicians are now able to count on this religious faith of patients and to understand and use it. Many surgeons refuse to operate on patients who say

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