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September 9, 1911


Author Affiliations

Professor of Physiology, Yale Medical School NEW HAVEN, CONN.

JAMA. 1911;LVII(11):857-859. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.04260090079001

The time has come for the formal recognition of clinical physiology as a distinct subject and a field of work of the first importance. More or less inchoate, more or less dimly recognized, it already exists. The function which I wish to assume toward it to-day is rather that of a priest at the christening than of a midwife at the birth of this latest-born and most neglected of the family of the medical sciences. I wish to give it the distinction of a name.

In the progress of medicine during the past decade, no feature has been more striking than the rapidity with which the advances in theoretic knowledge made in the laboratories of pathology and bacteriology have been adapted to the uses of clinical medicine. Physiology, on the contrary, has to a large extent led a life of mere self-development—like a proud virgin, beautiful, cold and sterile. I