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January 28, 1974

An Anti-Intellectual Movement in Medicine?

JAMA. 1974;227(4):432-434. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230170048013

It is no news that Western man is reentering a climate of anti-intellectualism—a new Dark Age wherein some fight fear with the long since discarded black and white magic of the Tarot, astrology, and perfervid religiosity. If these methods had ever worked, they would not have been reassumed and rediscarded myriad times in the history of civilizations.

We are in a state of chaos; but it is simplistic nonsense to blame the mess on the clean, flourishing, nonmoral, logical and technical disciplines of science. Rather, it is once again the lagging of practical humanism that permits the misuse of scientific knowledge and has created a gestalt inimical to the health of the whole individual and, therefore, of society.

A few months back I was battling the problems of providing patient care in an urban-rural community, with night calls, house calls, and all the joys and agonies attendant thereto. But one