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January 16, 1909


Author Affiliations

Associate Professor of Surgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital BALTIMORE

JAMA. 1909;LII(3):184-195. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.25420290010001c

In the presence of an extrauterine pregnancy, of an inflamed appendix, of gallstones, of pyloric stenosis, or what you will, of the many intra-abdominal lesions so frequently encountered, how many surgeons feel less competent to recognize the condition than their colleagues who are disinclined themselves to handle scalpel and forceps? And further, would these very colleagues be willing for a moment to call the surgeon in consultation on these cases if they did not feel assured that he is as familiar as they themselves with the anatomy and physiology of the organ concerned and the morbid processes, with their complications, to which it is liable?

One of the trying responsibilities of many physicians arises from the consciousness that they must protect their patients from the over-zealous interest of the chance operator, whose manual facility exceeds his knowledge of disease, an attitude almost as deplorable as that in which the trained