[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
March 1, 1976

Vital Signs: A Doctor Diagnoses the Medical Revolution

Author Affiliations

City Hospital Center Elmhurst, NY

JAMA. 1976;235(9):950. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260350052038

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


It is difficult to capture the spirit of a book composed in equal parts of subtle insight, polemics, and sociomedical ruminations. Dr Jean Bernard, Director of the Paris Research Institute for Blood Disorders, has written a highly personal document that is engaging, difficult to gainsay, but enormously frustrating because of an uncomfortable number of loose ends, both intellectual and medical. Bernard is a master of homiletics, but preaching is not always the surest approach to an audience interested in the biomedical sciences.

This book would most generously be viewed as a commentary on the role of the scientist-physician in modern society. The three major sections—"Advances," "Consequences," and "Temptations"—are uneven, with the heaviest emphasis and most useful analysis occurring in the chapters on geographic hematology and economic and financial aspects. The medical revolution mentioned in the title is, in actuality, synonymous with the progress of biomedical science and technology. What is