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February 16, 1957


JAMA. 1957;163(7):554-556. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.82970420008015

My earliest recollection of the family physician was at about age 5 during one of my periodic bouts with tonsillitis. I recall the goateed doctor as he came into the house with a bustle of activity. He dropped his professional bag on a table and with a sweeping gesture picked up a bottle of a yellow liquid medicine that another physician had prescribed for me when he was unavailable, sniffed at it several times, and then, as though in anger, flung it out of the window saying, "Poison, that's what it is, it's a wonder he didn't die of poison!" I recall now the awe and admiration with which my poor bewildered parents viewed the scene and the fear that it instilled in me. I remember that the new medicine that he gave me was different in color though suspiciously similar in taste. I thought of him as a wonderful