One of the characteristics of medical opinion which can be traced through the literature of all ages is its tendency to run to extremes. From a period of excessive bleeding and purging we react to a period of practically no bleeding and mild purging, and instances of a similar character could be multiplied indefinitely. Sometimes the complete abandonment of an old method or idea is due to discoveries which indicate its fallacies; more often the change is due to the influence of some one man or group of men who change the fashion, for there are fashions in medicine as well as in spring bonnets. Again, a medical theory may be so attractive and so plausible from certain points of view that, for the time being, it hypnotizes us into forgetting or minimizing the other points of view. A recent article of Ewing1 suggests that we have been so
THE INDIVIDUAL AS A FACTOR IN INFECTIOUS DISEASES. JAMA. 1905;XLV(13):922. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.02510130042004
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