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September 14, 1895


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1895;XXV(11):444-445. doi:10.1001/jama.1895.02430370016002c

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The disagreement of doctors is both a proverb and a reproach: a proverb, as if it were constant and axiomatic; a reproach, as if it were needless, unreasonable and peculiar. If medicine were an exact science, men with equal opportunities for acquiring it might be expected to agree substantially, as they do in chemistry and physics; but the personal equation is a disturbing element in the mind of both physician and patient, of a variability defying the power of the differential calculus. That other people should disagree is a matter of course, and generally of no consequence. Clergymen disagree widely in doctrines believed to affect supremely the eternal welfare of mankind, and in this land of liberty and toleration a large fraction look on with indifference, and the remainder with serenity. Lawyers are paid to disagree; their clients are not satisfied unless they are radical and stormy in variance; yet

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