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May 15, 1909


Author Affiliations

Professor of Pharmacology and Therapeutics in the Medical Department of Georgetown University WASHINGTON

JAMA. 1909;LII(20):1557-1560. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.25420460005001a

The last few years have witnessed a strong and certainly a healthy growth in the spirit of iconoclasm in medical thought. Babinski in neurology,1 Henri in pathology,2 and Cushny3 in pharmacology are notable examples of this spirit. Babinski's efforts have largely succeeded in tearing down many notions with respect to hysteria which for a generation were regarded with almost religious veneration by the apostles of Charcot. Henri has attacked the fallacious ideas from which the pragmatic German school derived its sanction for its top-heavy theories regarding blood pathology and immunity. Finally Cushny in pharmacology has thrown out the fetishes with which the temple of therapeutics was so overcrowded, and allowed room for a healthier devotion to be paid to a rational study of the physiologic action of drugs.

If it were not for these periodical intellectual reformations, the mind of the average physician would be little better