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February 25, 1905


JAMA. 1905;XLIV(8):635. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.02500350045016

The faculty of being able to use the right and left hands interchangeably has long been considered desirable in surgeons, and by some has been urged as a desideratum for all engaged in work requiring manual dexterity. In England the matter has been carried so far that an "Ambidextral Culture Society" has been formed, which distributes considerable literature on the subject. At first sight such a faculty seems eminently desirable, and undoubtedly is so in a limited number of callings. In any attempt to supersede a natural and instinctive manner of doing things it is well to dispassionately review the why and wherefore of the process before suggesting sweeping changes, and it is doubtful whether the Ambidextral Culture Society has done this. Harman1 has recently sought to explain why we are naturally righthanded, and to show that our apparent righthandedness is in reality a form of ambidexterity. He suggests

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