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Article
March 20, 1897

THE NECESSITY FOR INVESTIGATION AND OBSERVATION BY THE GENERAL PRACTITIONER.

Author Affiliations

ASSISTANT DEMONSTRATOR OF PATHOLOGY; ASSISTANT IN THE SURGICAL CLINIC, JEFFERSON MEDICAL COLLEGE HOSPITAL.

JAMA. 1897;XXVIII(12):527-529. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440120001001

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Abstract

Medicine is a science developed by a process of experimental induction, and by methods which lead to a complete, final evolution of undisputed facts. It is a rational science so far as the absolute conclusions, the uniform results, observable within its sphere, depend for their certainty upon comprehensive experience and complete analogy, and the reliable testimony of competent observers in the unalterable phenomena of nature. It is largely an empiric science inasmuch as the contingent methods generally accepted in the management of disease depend for their validity upon the cumulative evidence resulting from continued experimentation and observation. The institution of this method of investigation and observation formed the basis of its classification as a science.

For several centuries subsequent to its origin to a certain stage of its development, medicine, however, presents nothing that is of scientific value, and little that is of interest save from an historic standpoint, in

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