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June 2, 1906


JAMA. 1906;XLVI(22):1660-1665. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.62510490004001a

A new start in life, a new lease of life, a new movement—that is what we are witnessing to-day, I think, in the theory and practice of therapeutics. There have been other such new shoots before on the old tree, and doubtless there will be many more. Our time is not the turning point of all the ages. Nevertheless, I think I can bring before you a group of phenomena which, taken together, constitute impressive evidence that we have received a new impetus along the old road.

Surgery was the last great wave of new life in therapeutics, for of course we must recognize surgery as belonging essentially among the resources of modern therapeutics. Despite its brilliant and most beneficent successes, I think we Americans are somewhat prone to exaggerate the service which surgical therapeutics is capable of performing. Certainly not more than one-tenth of the sick people in the