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May 8, 1897

Teaching Materia Medica.

JAMA. 1897;XXVIII(19):903. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440190041014

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Pittsburg, Pa., May 3, 1897.

To the Editor:  —So many physiologic actions are accredited to each agent in the text books on materia medica that the average student does not know the difference between the important or leading actions and those of minor importance. If you ask a recent graduate from any medical school to name the five most important physiologic actions of the common drug, opium, he will probably be unable to correctly answer in a majority of cases. Personal observation, rather than rumor, justifies this statement.The lack of this essential knowledge of the important drugs is to be deplored; and its remedy should engage the attention of all medical teachers. The great majority of medical graduates know little of pharmacy and less of materica medica. They enter practice and waste their lives writing original package prescriptions.In teaching this important branch too many agents are studied and

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