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July 20, 1912


JAMA. 1912;LIX(3):194-195. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270070195011

The surgery of diseases of bones and joints has lagged behind. It is an important branch of medicine and will well repay our study. Possibly a wide-spread cult owes its inception to our neglect. No branch of the subject appears to be well established. The pathology, the symptomatology, the diagnosis, the treatment—in each confusion reigns supreme. I venture the opinion that no one statement I could make here to-day would pass unchallenged, whereas in abdominal surgery and in the surgery of various other regions, there is at least a common meeting-ground. Perhaps this difference of opinion is due to our reliance on clinical experience. We owe little in the progress of medicine to clinical experience—too little to justify a blind reliance on it, and yet often a new idea meets strenuous opposition because it seems to conflict with clinical experience.

It is hard to overestimate the

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