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May 26, 1906


JAMA. 1906;XLVI(21):1614. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.02510480042005

In a recent address at New Haven, Dr. Harvey Cushing1 discusses certain newer developments in the teaching of surgery, or operative therapy, and, inasmuch as the fundamental ideas are of great importance to medical men in general, a brief summary, with comments, may not be without some value. Cushing emphasizes very forcibly the fact, perhaps not so thoroughly understood as it should be, that the essential distinction between surgeons and physicians, between surgery and medicine, as these words are usually employed, lies not in any fundamental differences in general principles or in early training, but wholly in the degree to which manipulative or operative therapy is employed in these two great but largely artificial subdivisions of medicine.

In his daily work the physician employs various essentially surgical methods for diagnosis and treatment, e. g., aspiration of pleural and other cavities, meningeal puncture, etc., methods that require rigid observation of