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February 3, 1962

Basic Contributions to Medicine by Research in Microbiology

Author Affiliations

Stanford, Calif.

JAMA. 1962;179(5):360-362. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050050050008a

I VENTURE to predict, as I write this paper, that the roster of speeches by representatives of the various preclinical sciences has already subjected you to considerable repetitiousness in assessing the contributions to medicine of the man-made biologic compartments in which we work and teach. This reflects more than a petty desire of each area to garner for itself as much credit as it can; it reveals an inevitable crumbling of the compartmental walls as the natures of biologic phenomena become clearer. The day of almost complete scientific togetherness is fast approaching, a fact recognized by the current rearrangements of curricula taking place in many schools of medicine.

The heyday of practical contribution by the field of microbiology to clinical medicine in this century occurred during the 1930's and 1940's with the introduction of the antimicrobial agents. The story of the revolution in medical practice occasioned by these developments is