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August 13, 1982

Medical Thinking: A Historical Preface

JAMA. 1982;248(6):758. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330060082046

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 a scholarly statement of the ingredients of medical progress made, sometimes slowly, over man's written history. It is no mere recounting of alleged "milestones" in any popular sense. Rather, it is an analytical and carefully documented account of man's attempt to meet the recurrent diagnostic problems posed by patients from historic times to the present.

Instead of denigrating the efforts of early physicians in this regard, Dr King, a highly qualified pathologist and teacher, holds up for all to see the imaginative and innovative theories that have tried to account for major disease entities.

In this elegantly produced volume, the reader will find just the right mix of the personal history of the discoverers or contributors of the past along with a clear statement of the problems addressed.

An excellent feature of the treatise is the clarification for today's readers of the descriptive terms used by earlier writers.