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September 19, 1896


JAMA. 1896;XXVII(12):658-659. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430900042007

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Materia medica has been the bête noire of the medical student. The study of its dry and categorical details has been largely a matter of mental gymnastics. In its teaching, instructors have sought to make it more acceptable to the mental palate of the pupil by a liberal admixture—with the uninteresting story of drug origins, pharmaceutic preparations and dose tables—of therapeutic facts. Until recently the text books have adopted the confusing method of merging the treatment of these two, usually allied, but deservedly distinct topics. Their greater dissociation is desirable for the better development of each subject and for the adaptation to each of its own proper method of study.

Dr. Henry M. Bracken, of the University of Minnesota, in an article printed recently in the New York Medical Journal, has been the first, publicly, to recognize the necessity for a departure from the customary mode of instruction in these

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