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May 13, 1905

Abuses in Medical Literature.

JAMA. 1905;XLIV(19):1545. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.02500460053017

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San Antonio, Texas, 1905.

To the Editor:  —I believe that the ponderous systems of medical literature are indefensible on economic and on moral grounds. Our literature, in its present bulk, is accessible to the student, but, in two respects at least, it is wholly inadequate. The most brilliantly endowed and acquisitive mind can hardly grasp, in all its ramifications, the essential literature of a single department of medicine, and yet some general knowledge of all departments is a necessary prerequisite to the intelligent practice of any of its specialties. When every branch of medicine has a half dozen or more systems devoted to it, is it not a gross imposition on the reader's mind, a confusion of his memory and a waste of his time? In the desire to be just, rather than critical, in my search for motives, I have been forced to indulge hypotheses, and to ask myself

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