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October 26, 1984


Author Affiliations

Editor, CONTEMPO '84

JAMA. 1984;252(16):2163. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350160031011

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As knowledge has increased and technology has advanced, medicine has become fragmented into more and more specialties. It is difficult to remain abreast of new happenings in one's own specialty, let alone to view each of the specialties in relation to the entire field of medicine. The situation may in fact be likened to Frank Stella's painting, Sacramento Mall Proposal #4, which appears on this week's cover. The area of knowledge covered by each specialty may be represented by the bands of color that form a square. Each square is partitioned from the adjacent square by thin lines of similar, but paler, color. Although the squares are discrete, they are nevertheless related, not only in shape, but in the fact that they are adjacent wavelengths on the visible spectrum. Looked at individually, each square is simply four bands of a single color; but when the painting is viewed in its