[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
November 30, 1979

Confessions of a Medical Heretic

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago

JAMA. 1979;242(22):2470. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03300220072035

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


This is not a collection of confessions but rather a collection of opinions, only some of which are reliable. The book will delight many who view medicine as a nonsystem that is exploiting the public and will anger others who view medicine as being under unfair and damaging attack.

Most physicians will find much in here with which to agree but also a great deal with which to take exception. It is an easy book to read, perhaps because one can dismiss so much of it as piffle; nevertheless it makes for an evening's entertainment and would shorten one four-hour airplane trip.

The technique of describing one specific situation or case history and then generalizing to all situations or all case histories is a dangerous one, and such extrapolations are carefully avoided by all responsible scientists. However, this approach of Mendelsohn's supplies the grist for his mill— and its faulty