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November 12, 1982

Cecil Textbook of Medicine

JAMA. 1982;248(18):2346. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330180092049

Review of General Internal Medicine: A Self-Assessment Manual, edited by Lloyd H. Smith, Jr, and James B. Wyngaarden, 326+ pp, with illus, paper, $19.50, Philadelphia, WB Saunders Co, 1982.

The latest edition of Cecil meets students' needs for medical science and technology admirably, and in deference to the feeling that our culture and general education have not done their jobs well, a humanistic tone is established by four excellent prefatory essays.

A textbook of medicine must meet the needs of students before anything else, and one of these needs is consideration for the wants of patients. It is not reasonable, however, to expect that a textbook can help the student satisfy all patient wants. In Dr Smith's introductory essay he describes five of these wants, and four are related to humanistic attributes that make social intercourse a rewarding feature of our culture. These attributes are better molded by society and