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May 2, 1977

Walter C. Alvarez: American Man of Medicine

JAMA. 1977;237(18):1987-1988. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270450077036

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Probably Walter Alvarez is one of the best known, most widely read and highly respected physicians of this century. His numerous technical writings have been studied by scientists and physicians, his syndicated newspaper column was followed by millions of laymen, and his book and editorials in Modern Medicine were enjoyed by thousands of physicians. He worked in laboratories, engaged in private practice in several localities, was a Mayo Clinic staff member for a quarter-century, traveled widely, read extensively, and made friends with leaders in many fields. Although his specialty was gastroenterology, he was especially interested in the psychological and neurological problems of his patients. As Di Cyan says in his brief introduction to this volume, "Many physicians treat diseases; Alvarez treats people who have diseases."

This book is a selection of Alvarez's editorials and commentaries published in Modern Medicine in the 1960s and early 1970s. They deal with a wide