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July 23, 1904


JAMA. 1904;XLIII(4):268-269. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02500040036010

The tendency to overvalue the new and strange at the expense of the old and tried, with the resultant faddism, is a characteristic of human nature, and is of necessity found in physicians as in the rest of mankind. The tendency undoubtedly leads to the rapid adoption of new methods of value, but it also leads to the widespread use of many methods of very doubtful worth. The recent address of Sir Dyce Duckworth1 is really a protest against the indiscriminate adoption of new appliances, and the indiscriminate use of new drugs and methods of treatment. There is much truth in Dr. Duckworth's remarks concerning the use of so-called instruments of precision in the modern study of disease. While of the greatest value in some instances, there can be no question that their use has led on the whole to a decay of the powers of observation dependent on