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April 4, 1891


JAMA. 1891;XVI(14):469-473. doi:10.1001/jama.1891.02410660001001

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Some of the matter contained in this discourse may seem irrelevant, but it was impossible, without some prelude, to make my meaning clear. It strikes me that physicians do not stop often enough to consider the significance and cause of symptoms in disease. Why does not one in sickness go on to recovery or to death without any such manifestation as a symptom? As compared to the time since the creation of man the short period that our profession has been able to render any service to mankind is but a day. These same symptoms were manifest in the systems of the preglacial man and long before they could be interpreted or associated as they now are. Are they then, as now so generally accepted, simply the signs of disease, the perverted and morbid conditions signaling to the physician to annihilate them and thus cure the disease which they, in

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