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Article
October 1, 1982

Smallness Is a State of Mind

JAMA. 1982;248(13):1541. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330130005002
Abstract

The curriculum for the second year of medical school included a mandatory course in the history of medicine. This was taught by a small distinguished-looking professor with white hair, thick glasses, a PhD, and a soft monotone that, coupled with the tedium of the subject matter, virtually guaranteed somnolence. I often wonder if he was really more excited about the subject than he let on, or whether this was one of those exercises to be endured by teacher and student alike. Thinking I had better use for my time, I frequently absented myself, believing that in a class of more than 80 students I wouldn't be missed. (I failed to notice the record taker, so unobtrusive was she.)

As fate would have it, I succumbed to a temptation that presented itself in the form of the New Physician, the journal of the Student American Medical Association. It featured a column

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